Mo'unga looking forward to South African tour

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The Springboks would be confident after their series win over Wales, and their fans would ensure a hostile reception for the All Blacks.


"But what a challenge for us, is the way I look at it. I don't see it any other way than this opportunity being the biggest opportunity against the toughest team in the toughest place to play footy. I'm looking forward to it," he said.


Mo'unga said incoming Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan was a hard worker, honest and would bring clarity to the forwards. There was a huge challenge ahead, and while he would have his hands full, he was well capable.


The All Blacks had talked about the series loss to Ireland and knew their efforts were not good enough.


"We're looking to the opportunity to right a few wrongs, and to be better, because we know we are capable. We need to make a statement about who we are as All Blacks and the standard that comes with that," he said.



It was a challenge, and he hoped that by the time they had played England at the end of the year, they would be able to look back and realise what a journey they had been on to turn things around and prove those critics, who had questioned them, wrong.


"[It's] not only that, but to prove to each other what we're capable of as All Blacks," he said.


Mo'unga backed head coach Ian Foster in his role.


"Fozzie's the man for the job. I 100 per cent back Fozzie because of his coaching ability, and I think he will have more of a hands-on role with the backs and with attack.


"I had a taste early on in my All Blacks career and was able to gain so much knowledge and had wow moments out on the field when he was coaching, and it's good to see that happen again the last couple of days. The direction the team is going is really exciting," he said.


Foster said conversations with departing coaches John Plumtree and Brad Mooar had been 'horrible'.


"They're good men, but I guess my role is to do what is best for the team and put the team first, and sometimes that's to the detriment of an individual. So, I don't think it's a massive judgment on them at all as coaches, we kind of needed to make a bit of a change," he said.


Responding to a question about why coaches were retained after allegedly not reviewing very well at the end of 2021, Foster said that had been more 'media chat and speculation' than factual.


"We always review hard, particularly when we had a year like we had - when we're, on tour three and a half months, locked in hotels, and how you review that is a little different. Everyone went away with some key workons, and that's no different.


"I still stand by that decision, and I stand by this one," he said.


There had been no direction from New Zealand Rugby ahead of the Rugby Championship.


But Foster said he didn't need NZR to tell him what to do.


"We want to play well. With all the emotion around when you lose a series it's easy for people to get scratchy and poke holes and I get all that, and I accept all that but that doesn't change our job which is to go out and get the group and play well," he said.



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