No secret to All Blacks' winning culture

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

When a new player comes into the All Blacks squad, it’s not just hoped that they will find a victory, it’s expected.

On an 11-Test winning streak and a seven-year stranglehold on the world number one ranking, not to mention almost every possible trophy up for grabs has landed in their cabinet.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read said the history of the New Zealand jersey bred that expectation.

“I think it's born through the history of the All Black jersey,” he said.

“It's always been very successful and when you come in, you know you’ve got that responsibility to continue the legacy and really add to it.

“I think as rugby players, we come in, we put the rugby jersey on, we're expected to win and I think that's the great thing about our team is all the guys buy into that and I think that’s a good mindset to have.

“It doesn't mean you're going to win every game but certainly we expect to go out there and do our best every time.”

Read said there wasn’t any secret one-on-one chats with players when they come into the team, just an effort to instil a sense of responsibility.

“We certainly have a culture within the group that we try and impart on everyone who comes in and really ensure that they know everyone has a part to play in this team.

“Whether it's your first Test or your 87th, you've got to have a big part to play in the legacy that you can leave when you take the jersey off and that's all we try and do.”

Both sides will blood a new Test player in the opening Bledisloe, in props Kane Hames and Allan Alaalatoa, who will likely directly clash in their trans-Tasman debuts.

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has watched the latter closer in his time at the Brumbies and had plenty of praise for the rookie on Friday.

“I played with Allan at the Brumbies and I've seen him come through the last few years and how hard he's worked and he's been really impressive in the camps we've had for the last few weeks and really deserves his chance,” he said.

“He hasn't played a lot of tighthead but to come across there and do as well as he's done over the last few weeks is great to see and he gets his opportunity to go out there now.

“I’m sure his family and everyone who’s had anything to do with him in his career so far will be very proud.”