Confident Wallabies will test All Blacks

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Lynn McConnell     24 Oct 2018     Getty Images

While the latter part of the Championship had seen the All Blacks concentrated on South Africa especially, the next few days would be spent doing their homework on Australia and different elements that were in their game since the two sides met in the first rounds of the competition.

First five-eighths Beauden Barrett said they always expected to face a confident Australian team but after their finish to the Championship they would have more belief that may have been missing earlier.

Their second half effort to beat Argentina in their final game had been impressive.

"It was a great comeback, we have to acknowledge that. We're aware that they can play a great attacking game of footy but what was obviously missing was their defence and it wasn't up to it in the first half. It wasn't a surprise to see them come back," he said.

Wing Rieko Ioane said last year's loss of the dead rubber Test to Australia had provided some good lessons for the All Blacks. The Wallabies had come out swinging harder than the All Blacks and deserved their win.

"We know we're in a similar situation and like Beauden said we've got to prepare accordingly," he said.

Having grown up in Japan, Ioane said he always enjoyed returning because there was so much to see and he enjoyed the food. But top of his list was enjoying the two games in Japan.

"Japan is one of my favourite places to travel to. I haven't done too much of it since I was young and the times we do get to come here for footy is always nice. I enjoy it and I know the boys are loving it too," he said.

It wasn't hard to focus on Saturday's Test with Australia and there was the prospect Ioane would be marking Israel Folau who had been appearing on the wing more recently.

"I know he's a quality player and wherever he goes he's huge threat and I imagine him being on the wing is no different. It's exciting for the outsides, it's a huge challenge for us and I'm sure everyone will walk towards it," he said.

Barrett, who has been the subject of speculation regarding a possible future in Japan, said there was a lot to like about Japan and there was good open communications between the coaches, his management and New Zealand Rugby and at the right time he would make a decision.