Ioane, Crotty ready for Test action

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Lynn McConnell     14 Sep 2018     Getty Images

Ioane said it had been a tough couple of weeks having to watch on. But he was feeling refreshed after the enforced break. It was the first time he had suffered a hamstring injury.

He felt he could have played last week but the management had given him another week and he felt a lot better in his preparation this week as a result.

"It's probably just about getting the confidence right and it's right up there at the moment," he said.

Crotty said he was feeling fine and a lot of people had asked him how he was doing and he appreciated their concern.

"I'm feeling fresh and good to go. It's been a good week's prep so far and I'm just excited to be back playing," he said.

Crotty said there was no stone left unturned around the All Blacks when it came to head injuries nowadays and the diligence around that gave a player like him confidence.

Crotty said all the midfield players had been performing well. Anton Lienert-Brown, his centre partner against South Africa had played well, as had Jack Goodhue and Ngani Laumape.

"I think that's a product of how hard the group works together and with regards to Alby [Lienert-Brown], his balance, not just in rugby but across everything, I think, he's a really switched on young man and better people make better rugby players and I think that's the case with Anton," he said.

The players built a level of trust in each other as a result of the work they put in during the week.

Both Crotty and Ioane said in the wake of Lima Sopoaga's comments about the draw of the black jersey not being sufficient to keep players in New Zealand, that they were happy with being involved in the All Blacks.

Crotty said he was happy with the decisions he had made about his career while Ioane said he was still new to the environment but as a kid it had always been the black jersey and having the chance to play in it week in, week out was enough for him.

He said coping with the kicking game was one of the tougher parts of wing play but the practised hard on what they expected to happen in games and he felt they would be well tested again at training on Thursday.