NZPA,Saturday, 01 November 2008
Former Canterbury rugby forward Matt Mustchin has put his feelings for New Zealand to one side as he trains with Scotland in preparation for the All Blacks in just over a week.
"Anything I feel for New Zealand has been put to the back of my mind because I'm doing everything I can for Scotland now, to get our first win over New Zealand," he said.
Mustchin, 31, qualified for Scotland through residency in June this year, starting in both tests on their tour to Argentina.
Mustchin represented New Zealand at under-16 and under-19 level, played for Canterbury and the Crusaders in the old Super 12, but moved to Ulster in 2003 and then, in 2005, joined Edinburgh .
At Scotland's training base this week, he admitted excitement at the prospect of facing the All Blacks and in particular, captain Richie McCaw.
"The opportunity to play against New Zealand is a massive carrot," he said."I'm good friends with Richie from when we played together at Canterbury and the Crusaders. When the squad was announced I texted him and he texted back saying, `Well done: now just get into the starting line-up'. I will be strange if I get in the 22 to face him and the All Blacks the anthems, facing the haka and playing against them. Beating the All Blacks is achievable, if we do everything we know we can do. The preparation is the big thing - that has to be right to give every player a chance of performing."
Sometimes, when he sleeps, Franck Hadden, Scotland head coach, dreams about a couple of other Crusaders who could be in Men in Kilts...Well, Ali Williams (in the team this season) and Super Captain (forever red & black!!!)