Newly selected All Blacks soaking up team environment


That experience was enhanced when they roomed together last week during their first camp, and he found Smith had been open to sharing experiences and had helped provide some technical pointers with his passing.

"I've been doing little drills with him, it's like having another coach. Being able to tap into that with him has been awesome and with Finlay Christie as well."

Being part of the All Blacks camp had put more pressure on him internally to perform so that he didn't make mistakes. There was also pressure to learn fast because they would be playing Argentina in eight days, and with the Crusaders and Chiefs who played last weekend's final, it had been about trying to bring them up to speed as well.

Another aspect was going through haka practice.

"You see it on TV and you are pretty familiar with it but it is pretty awesome. You are a fan of it growing up but you are in a room some of the legends that add to the legacy. It's not overwhelming but it's definitely awesome kind of experience."

It also helped that some former All Blacks had visited the side during the week, Dan Carter, Liam Messam and Keven Mealamu.

"They talked about getting comfortable in the environment, and then we could be ourselves, and that would be reflected on the field, and we could start playing the footy we got picked for and then adding value to this group.

"It shows what it means inside that group as well and even though they have moved on they are still proud All Blacks who want to do what they can for the jersey."

Wing Emoni Narawa said the week was another level to what he had experienced before, but his roommate Rieko Ioane had given plenty of assistance during the week.

The standard advice was that they had been picked for a reason and should be themselves and carry on their form from Super Rugby.

They had also learned that even if not included in the match 23 games, they should still prepare to play, and if opportunities came along in the Rugby Championship, they would be ready and grateful for their chances.


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