Jerome Kaino is looking to reclaim his All Black jersey on the upcoming end of season tour.
The talented flanker lost his place Adam Thomson in New Zealand's final Tri-Nations win over Australia. Speaking after the final day of the All Blacks' three day training camp he told of his disappointment at missing out. With Rodney So'oialo and Liam Messam also in the squad the competition for places will be fierce.
"It was quite disappointing not to play in that last Test," he said. "It's an awesome challenge for me to have Adam there. He's on top of his game and it is quite healthy for the loose forwards to have a contest for a spot in the team. It is going to be a huge challenge for me to get that jersey back."
"With the results of the Tri-Nations we didn't really get to play the rugby we wanted to and we didn't show what rugby we usually play in New Zealand. I think with the fresh voices in the unit, with the coaches swapping roles, it is exciting for the boys. All we are trying to do is get back to basics and play exciting rugby that we usually play."
And Kaino is looking forward to the clash witht he Wallabies in Tokyo, and he says they will be smarting after their heavy defeat in Wellington.
"When we played them last we had our backs against the wall and were under a lot of pressure in the media and in the public and I think Australia will feel the same probably over the last few weeks heading into Tokyo.
"We knew what it was like to be under the pump and the performance the boys put out in Wellington (answered the critics) and Australia are in a similar camp so we are going to expect a fight back from them."