Transformed front row ready for England arm-wrestle - Taylor

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He's played England twice, in 2018 when the All Blacks won 16-15, and at the Rugby World Cup in Japan when England won their semifinal 19-7.

Both were arm wrestles that reflected any contest between the two, especially in England.

England outplayed them in Japan.

"We probably got punched in the face a couple of times and didn't get out of it. We're going to get much of the same this week and I think the boys are up for that challenge and what it's going to bring."

Their forward pack traditionally set up the way they wanted to play, and he thinks that won't change on Sunday.

It would be another good test for the All Blacks pack, and Taylor said what he enjoyed about the 2022 pack was everyone was willing to learn.

Jason Ryan's approach as a forwards' coach was always to get better, which was contagious for the pack.

"He squares us up when he needs to and also tells us what we're doing well which is awesome."

Taylor said that compared to their loss to England in 2019, it was a new team and included many players who were not part of that event.

"They would have witnessed a pretty tough loss as a nation, but for us it's about building on the progress we've made over the last few weekends."

While the sides had only met twice in eight years, they were each proud rugby nations, and the contests were always intense. The All Blacks were looking forward to another chance to play them.

The English front row was impressive. The players had worked hard on their game over the last few years. With their experience it would be a good battle up front. The All Blacks had some young props playing well, and he was looking forward to seeing them perform in the Test.

Taylor said the progress the side had made, without answering external questions, reflected their desire to get somewhere, and they were stepping in the right direction.

"We're making small steps in doing that, but it doesn't mean we are anywhere near where we want to be, and where we want to go."

Taylor said his fellow hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho was doing well and scoring tries and was a battering ram of a player.

"His confidence is contagious for the group. Being a young man, he is happy to slot in there and go about his work. We've seen that all year. Whatever my role is for the team, I want to do the same and add where I can."

With Brodie Retallick's suspension completed and his 100th Test looming, it would be appreciated by the starting XV if he played against England because opposing them during training for the last two weeks, he had been a nuisance.

"He's an All Blacks legend in my eyes and what he's added to the All Black game is pretty special."


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