Rugby: Four danger men for ABs

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)

Tim Visser

Position: Wing.
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 stopping.
Likely opponent: The small but powerful Cory Jane.

• Italy (November 18, 3am)

Martin Castrogiovanni

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 the line.
Likely opponent: World Cup final try-scorer Tony Woodcock.

• Wales (November 25, 6.15am)

Sam Warburton

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 jersey.
Likely opponent: The ultimate warrior, Richie McCaw.

• England (December 2, 3.30am)

Toby Flood.
Toby Flood.
Toby Flood

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.



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