Hammett expects more of the same from Chiefs

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Lynn McConnell     12 Feb 2019     Getty Images

While a look would be taken at the Chiefs' structures and what they were doing around their defence and attack variations, preparation was about expecting the very best from the Chiefs when play started on Friday.

"The last couple of years we've had the very best out of them against us so we're excited about that challenge up there, on their patch," he said.

Hammett said the final pre-season game against the Crusaders on Friday had been one of the most physical pre-season games he had seen and that was excellent for the side and they had taken lessons from the last 20 minutes of the game which they had not handled as well as they would have liked.

Bringing the All Blacks up to speed with the side was not an issue. They hadn't just walked in the door this week, he said.

They had been involved for the last three weeks and had a good idea of what was involved.

"We keep in touch pretty closely and we have a pretty good relationship before Christmas-after Christmas so they are not really coming in cold. Our job is that come Friday night that they are fresh and feel ready to go and are well prepared," he said.

Having had a year together after the introduction of new coaches last year there was more of a feeling of calmness this year. And the easing of the All Blacks into the squad was much more familiar now, an every day type of occurrence compared to a few years back when there was more complaint about the process.

"We're getting better and better at doing that process so we're comfortable and well planned. We know the requirements when the guys are coming and when they need to be rested so we've planned well around that," he said.

Former Fiji Sevens player and wing Tevita Nabura was out for the season after suffering an ACL injury at training last week and would be operated on next week. A replacement was being sought for him.

But he was the only concern for the side and Hammett said they were in a great spot which was good for the competition within the squad.

He felt the squad were ahead of where they were last year but they needed to be and they were aware of that.