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Thomson relishes his chance in No.7

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Sportal.co.nz     02 Sep 2008     Getty Images

Thomson has been selected as the starting openside flanker against Samoa in New Plymouth on Wednesday night with McCaw being rested for the clash due to injured ribs.

Thomson is aware of the opportunity that now lies ahead of him and said he is eager to show New Zealand the well-rounded skills he possesses.

"It's a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it, especially getting a shot at seven as well," he said.

"I'm getting a chance to prove that I'm a genuine option at seven, so it's a chance for me to grow my game and to show what I have for the All Blacks."

Thomson, who has played six Tests for the All Blacks and usually as number six, said his game play will not change a huge deal from his traditional position although there are always some differences when switching.

"Around the field I'll probably doing much the same as what I've been doing at blindside," he said.

"In the core roles of doing the physical work first and then getting a bit wider when the time comes, linking with the backs and that sort of thing.

"Being an openside our role changes a little bit, obviously from scrums on defence to being the first tackler and contesting the ball."

All Black forwards coach Steve Hansen said the position is not ideal for Thomson as he sees him more of a blindside flanker but admitted the current situation has called for changes like this to be made.

"I think he's probably best at six but he's got abilities that allow him to play in other positions so for this particular game, what we're trying to get out of it for the team is that he starts at seven," said Hansen.

"Adam needs the game so we haven't brought anybody in."

Thomson pairs up with Jerome Kaino in six with stand-in skipper Rodney So'oialo holding onto his well-seasoned No. 8 jersey.