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Ben Smith takes chances at fullback

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Lynn McConnell     14 Aug 2014     Getty Images

Smith held off the claims of 39-Test veteran Israel Dagg who missed the second and third Tests against England due to injury. It was in those two Tests that Smith's form proved so irresistible the selectors were not prepared to change when Dagg regained full fitness.

Smith said before the team left for Australia from Auckland on Thursday that the game was an opportunity to go out in Sydney and play some good rugby to do whatever he could for the side.

"Izzy's [Dagg] a class player and I'm sure there'll be an opportunity coming up for him at some stage," he said.

But Smith said it was nice to know he had the confidence of the selectors to go out and play his game.

Australia were a more natural team in moving the ball around than England based, as the Waratahs had shown, of building from the pack to give their backs the chance to exploit space.

"England did try to move us around quite a bit I think the Australians will probably be better at that," he said.

The choice of Rob Horne and Pat McCabe on the wings after their more regular stints in the midfield was a prospective challenge for the New Zealand defence out wide.

Smith said the break since the Highlanders exited the Super Rugby competition in the play-offs had refreshed him and he was looking forward to the Test challenge this week.

"We came in on Thursday last week so we have had quite a long preparation so really excited to get out there now and put everything on the paddock," he said.