Moody keen to get back into Test action

Joe Moody 1566170501

Having seen Karl Tu'inukuafe step up and seize his opportunity to play nine Tests in his absence, Moody knew there was pressure on him to regain his jersey and he was keen to take his chance against Australia.

Moody, who confirmed his involvement with New Zealand and Crusaders rugby on Thursday, said it was his connection to the Canterbury region and family, and his desire to keep playing for the All Blacks that had motivated his decision.

He said it had been a frustrating season in 2018 with injuries and an inability to string games together but he had continued working to prepare himself to take the chance to play when it came.

Having played some Mitre 10 Cup rugby in recent weeks had left him feeling in good shape, especially after a scrummaging clash with fellow All Black Nepo Laulala, who was also returning from injury, in the Counties Manukau-Canterbury game which he said was beneficial for both of them.

The Australian scrum had advanced in recent times and they could not be taken lightly. Earlier they had been a bit of a mixed bag but they had been much more consistent recently and they were a much tougher prospect and with Taniela Tupou and Alan Alaalatoa coming through they had a good base for the future.

Flanker Matt Todd, who has been playing club rugby in Japan, said it had been a little surprising to be called to action but he had been given approval from his club and he was enjoying being back in the camp.

Todd said the rugby in Japan was different to Super Rugby but it was a quality competition in which players were tested.

"There's plenty of talented Japanese rugby players coming through, there's no doubt about that. They're working hard and their work ethic is second to none. They work hard, they prepare well and it will be an exciting game next week when they play the All Blacks.

"The top league is getting stronger and stronger. There's more teams across the whole competition who are competitive now whereas in the past there was a handful, now there is eight, nine, 10 quality teams who can upset anyone.

"The strength of the game is growing over here and I'm sure that will be reflected in the performance of the national team," he said.

Both players said a Test against Australia was always a special challenge and Todd said there was always an edge around the side during the build-up.

Moody said he loved getting amongst the action against Australia and he was looking forward to Saturday.

Joe Moody 1566170501


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