Tuipulotu ready to get back into the fray

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What has made the situation more frustrating for him has been watching his locking partners Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett perform consistently at a high level. And he is aware they have set a high benchmark for the others in the squad.


Tuipulotu said while he was feeling good, it had been different two weeks ago with his groin strain.


"It was real niggly and I couldn't get my training done. The last couple of weeks have been quite tough, but seeing the boys get up last week, and the performance they put in has set the tone for this week," he said.


Tuipulotu said the locking group were working well as a pod in the team, and it was good to see all those who have played so far playing well. That was good for selection because everyone wanted to do well.


"This week I get my shot, so I want to make sure I put my hand up again and play well against a good Argentine side," he said.


"It's only going to push me to try and play my best," he said.


Sharing the role with Tupou Vaa'i was something he was looking forward to as he enjoyed the way Vaa'i had developed and where he came from.

"He reminds me of myself growing up. I want the best for him," he said.


The job ahead of the revamped All Blacks pack with eight starting changes was a tough challenge against a team that would be looking to make up for last week's 0-39 loss.


"They'll be a different beast this week. We know when we have a poor performance we bounce back even better the week after, because we have something to prove, and no doubt it will be the same for the Argentinians.


"They'll be working very hard this week to improve on their performance, they'll be doing everything they can to do that," he said.


In the face of the anticipated challenge, nothing changed for the forward pack, he said. It was their job to get the ball and put it on a platter for the backs.


"What that means for us is making sure we're physical at the breakdown, there's no negotiables there. Around the set-piece, we know teams are always trying to push the boundaries with the refs. There's always that fine line between making sure we're being physical and winning the breakdown and them contesting it, and what the refs will do," he said.


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