Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New faces meet old hands at ABs training DAVID LONG 23/05/2012

It feels like the old All Blacks for Richie McCaw, but then again, it doesn't.

The All Blacks training squad have completed their first week of activity in Auckland and will reassemble on Sunday in Wellington, before the squad is trimmed from 35 to 30 for the three-test series against Ireland next month. There are 11 players in the training squad yet to make their All Blacks debut.

Plenty of the faces were familiar in the All Blacks camp but the All Blacks captain said it has been odd to see the faces change.

"It is different, but it's always the way with players or coaches," McCaw said.
"You think they're going to leave a huge hole, which they do obviously, but you just get on with it.
"With the new management crew they just got on with the things we've got to do and the same with players ..."

With the limited buildup to the Ireland tests, there won't been time for the team's playbook to be rewritten from the World Cup winning one, so it will be a case of adapting and getting everyone on the same page.

"We haven't tried to cover everything," McCaw said of the Auckland camp.
"We've just ticked off a few things that will make it easier once the team comes together.
"Obviously, we've got another camp next week and then we come together for the first test and five days isn't long to get yourself under control for a test match," he said.
"Everyone has come from different experiences over the last few weeks with Super Rugby, but to put all of that aside and be here to learn is something everyone has enjoyed and that's the way it should be."

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