All Blacks ready for World Cup – Foster

The All Blacks are confident they are on track in their preparations just under two weeks out from their opening match in the Rugby World Cup.

The 31-strong squad are in their final training camp in Auckland before they board the plane for Britain on Thursday night and assistant coach Ian Foster says excitement is building.

“There are a few more things we have to tick off before we really focus on the plane trip,” he said.

“But you can hear the boys starting to talk about it and we are ready.”

The players had an opposed training session at Eden Park on Tuesday, with referee Nick Briant called in to control proceedings.

“We had a referee in there just to keep an eye on things,” Foster said.

“We need to be ready physically and part of that is going through the whole contact.”

Foster said it was hard to replicate all aspects of a match situation but “I think we’re in good stead jumping on the plane, to be honest”.

As for concerns over injury during a full-on session, Foster said the All Blacks had to be battle-hardened when they begin their campaign against Argentina at Wembley on September 20.

“The last thing we want to do is put ourselves in cotton wool and worry about things,” he said.

“It’s quite frankly business as normal. We have to make sure we train hard.

“We’re going to play against opposition that are either playing games or training as hard as we are, so we have to be ready.”

The All Blacks’ last Test was their 41-13 thrashing of the Wallabies at Eden Park, which means over a month will have passed before they face the Pumas in London.

But Foster believed another outing in-between wasn’t necessary.

“No, I think we have had enough Test matches, enough games,” he said.

“We had a pretty solid session last week in Wellington on the first day [of the camp] there and we’ve had a pretty solid one today.”

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