The All Blacks have been dominant on the northern tour
during the professional era. They have not lost a game since
2002 and many are expecting another cakewalk. Sports reporter
Adrian Seconi highlights four opponents the All Blacks should
treat with a healthy respect.
• Scotland (November 12, 3.30am)
Debut: v Fiji, June 16, 2012.
The oil: The flying Dutchman had to wait three years before
he was eligible to play for Scotland and made an immediate
impact, scoring two tries on debut against Fiji. You might
say he e-Visser-ated the defence. The 25-year-old knows his
way to the tryline, and at 1.93m and 109kg he takes a lot of
Likely opponent: The small but powerful Cory Jane.
• Italy (November 18, 3am)
Position: Tighthead prop.
Debut: v All Blacks, June 8, 2002.
The oil: Castrogiovanni was born in Argentina and built to
scrum. He put that power-packed frame, all 120kg, to good use
during the World Cup with some impressive performances. A
veteran of more than 80 internationals, he scored a hat trick
against Japan in 2004 - a rare feat for a prop but not that
surprising, really. He would be impossible to stop close to
Likely opponent: World Cup final try-scorer Tony Woodcock.
• Wales (November 25, 6.15am)
Position: Openside flanker.
Debut: v USA, Jun 6, 2009.
The oil: Warburton gained our respect for some outstanding
performances during the World Cup in New Zealand last year.
He reminded us of a young Richie McCaw with the way he threw
his body about and got his hands on just about everything at
the breakdown. He is good enough to wear the All Black
Likely opponent: The ultimate warrior, Richie McCaw.
• England (December 2, 3.30am)
Position: First five-eighth.
Debut: v Argentina, November 11, 2006.
The oil: The long-term understudy to Jonny Wilkinson, Flood
has made 50 appearances for England but has never really been
firmly entrenched in the position. He has seen off challenges
from Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell only for Gloucester's
Freddie Burns to emerge as the new threat. It should bring
out the best in the talented flyhalf.
Likely opponent: The master, Dan Carter.