The All Blacks are up against the Wallabies this weekend, but they could face another big challenge in Japan – to their waistlines.
“The food is amazing. Hopefully we don’t blow out in the next week or two,” hooker Codie Taylor quipped at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday.
The 111kg Crusaders frontrower said the All Blacks had been treated like royalty since arriving in Japan last weekend.
“Having a test in another country adds a different element of excitement,” Taylor said in a report on the Kyodo News agency website. “It gives us a chance to bring a huge test to Japan which is a real developing rugby nation.
The Blues loose forward says just spending time with the All Blacks is proving a massive boost to his game.
“The people are amazing.
“You feel like a king when you walk around and the people are willing to do anything for you…They are so respectful over here…it’s good to get a feel for how they do things.”
The All Blacks have enjoyed settling into Tokyo, with forwards Dalton Papalii and Patrick Tuipulotu pictured enjoying a rickshaw ride and tucking into sushi at a restaurant.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 22, 2018
Steve Hansen’s squad are using their two weeks in Japan – for Saturday’s Bledisloe III encounter with the Wallabies and a test against Japan – as a trial run for the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign.
“We are aware of the fact we are in Japan and that the World Cup is here next year,” Taylor said.
Settling into 🇯🇵
📸 = Karl Tu’inukuafe pic.twitter.com/si6YIBs9ez
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 21, 2018
“It’s a great chance for us to come here and experience the culture, and hopefully we are all involved next year to really embrace ourselves amongst Japan and get involved in a great World Cup.”
Experienced lock Sam Whitelock said the All Blacks’ first task was a top performance against the Wallabies.
“We have to make sure we concentrate on Australia and once we have done that we can focus on Japan,” he said.