All Blacks take in Buenos Aires
Sun, 23 Sep 2012 6:38p.m.
By Jim Kayes
The All Blacks have arrived in Argentina ahead of Sunday’s Rugby Championship Test, with All Blacks first-five Dan Carter declaring he's fit to play the Pumas after missing the past two games with a calf injury.
The All Blacks believe they know what to expect from the Pumas and their passionate supporters.
“We'll just have to assess how it [Carter’s calf injury] is after the travel,” says Carter. “Hopefully we'll be able to train fully for this or manage it at least, still targeting this weekend. That's definitely the target at the moment.”
Carter's experience could be crucial. He, Ma'a Nonu, Andrew Hore and Tony Woodcock are the only players in the All Blacks squad who have played the Pumas in Argentina.
With or without Carter, the All Blacks are in for a real treat on the weekend if the passion shown in Argentina for a Buenos Aires football club team is any sort of guide to how a sold out Mar de Plata will react.
Coach Steve Hansen's confident the All Blacks know what to expect.
"There's certainly a lot of passion about sport over here and particularly soccer,” says Hansen. “Rugby's not far behind it.”
"I thought it was our hotel actually and I thought ‘yeah this is pretty cool’,” says All Blacks wing Cory Jane. “A few of the boys were wondering what was going on. Was it soccer? That explains everything."
It's Jane’s first time in Argentina, and he likes what's on the menu.
"I love steak and I heard they got some mean ones over here, so I can't wait," says Jane.
But in the city of distractions, the All Blacks say they'll keep their minds on the job.
"We're here for a week,” says Jane. “There's a bit of time to look around and get your mind out of rugby, but we're here for a job so I don't think. Come Saturday, we're not going to be worried about sight-seeing."
In a place steeped in history, where better for the All Blacks to make their own by securing the inaugural Rugby Championship with a win this weekend?
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