All Blacks look to Pumas
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 6:44p.m.
By Jim Kayes
Victor Vito is happy to be playing for Wellington, and he'll be even happier if his form tomorrow night secures a start for the All Blacks on the same ground next week.
“It's always nice to get a bit of game time, I got a few minutes on the weekend and it's always good to win the Bledisloe but I need a little bit more time getting the legs ticking over and the lungs used to it,” says Vito.
The versatile Vito will start at numbereight for Wellington, but knows that with Kieran Read and Richie McCaw in the All Blacks his best chance is at six, though Liam Messam has staked a fairly decent claim of his own in his last three starts.
“Yeah it's obviously a pretty contested jersey, the other two are pretty sewn up I guess. Look we're there to push them as well as at six, it's just healthy competition and that's only good for it,” says Vito.
Lions teammate Julian Savea has also stepped out of the test team, with Hosea Gear, Corey Jane and Ben Smith preferred.
“All I want to do is try and play my best, play like I've been doing the whole year,” says Savea.
While he's likely to stay on the fringes, Conrad Smith will start against Argentina next week despite not having played for six week after eye surgery.
“The timetable's such that his first game available will be for us,” says All Black coach Steve Hansen. “We're confident in his fitness, he's proven before that he can come straight back in and do the job.”
And Hansen is confident too that he knows how the Pumas will try to play.
“I can't imagine them wanting to play an expansive game, they're more comfortable using their forwards” says Hansen.
Meanwhile, Auckland coach Wayne Pivac says Piri Weepu is only on the bench for Wednesday's game against Canterbury because he missed training to promote his book.
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