'We want to go out there firing' - Ardie Savea
An All Blacks-South Africa pre-Rugby World Cup 'friendly?' That's not the case so far as loose forward Ardie Savea believes.
Savea said as the team prepared in London for Saturday morning's [NZT] game at Twickenham that there was no such word as 'warm-up' for the All Blacks. For them, it was a case of doing the jersey proud every time they pulled it on. That was part of the All Blacks' legacy.
"It's not part of our vocabulary at the moment. We want to go out there firing and banging.
"For me, every Test is hard, and that's just internal gut feel I put upon myself, and the standard in every game is hard and tough and you want to get prepared for that and playing this game against South Africa leading up to what is next is important."
With all the recent emphasis on red cards from tackle situations, Savea said the All Blacks were working their hardest to ensure they didn't put themselves in the position of infringing.
"It's footy so sometimes you get it wrong so, hopefully, this weekend we can go out there and nothing comes of it."
Savea said South Africa would have the first 20 minutes of their last Test against the All Blacks in Auckland on their minds and would be firing to nullify the New Zealanders.
In the second half at Mt Smart, the All Blacks let South Africa back in the game at the breakdown, so on Saturday, they would focus on their skills in those areas.
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At the same time, the All Blacks knew that if they started in the way they did in their last game against Australia, it would be a long day at the office at Twickenham.
"They pose a massive threat around their physicality, their threats around the breakdown, so we've got to nail our structures, our game plan and be ready for things that go our way."
Heading into the World Cup in France, Savea said it was different to 2019 when he was a younger player. Now it meant more, and he said the pain of the semifinal loss to England had been stored, and that was all he was prepared to say.
Savea was impressed with the speed of South African captain Siya Kolisi's recovery.
"He's an inspirational leader, a good friend. To see him come back after his injury at such a fast rate, it's a miracle pretty much. It's awesome that he's there and I know he plays a massive part in their culture and lifting the boys. It's good for Siya."
Savea's reaction to the news that former coach Steve Hansen would work with the Wallabies was that 'everyone's got to do what they've got to do and good on him.'
All Blacks v South Africa (Rugby World Cup warm-up): Saturday 26 August, 6.30am NZT, Twickenham, London.
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