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All Blacks bracing for Wallabies vengeance

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/08/2016 Angelo Risso

Jerome Kaino scored Blues' opening try as they won 17-13 at Western Force © Provided by Press Association Jerome Kaino scored Blues' opening try as they won 17-13 at Western Force All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino says he expects to grapple with a vengeful Australian outfit in next week's Rugby Championship opener.

The two sides will meet in Sydney for the first time since last year's World Cup final at Twickenham, which New Zealand claimed 34-17.

New Zealand have since claimed a clean-sweep Test series win over Wales in June, while Australia were on the reverse of an English clean sweep on their home patch.

Kaino, 33, expected the Wallabies' line-up to mirror that which ran out at Twickenham last October.

They would be seeking revenge for their defeat.

"You look at their team, a lot of them played in that final, so I think they'll use a bit of that as motivation," Kaino said.

"They'll be firing to get into us.

"All across the park they've got good players and a lot of experience."

The All Blacks fly to Sydney on Sunday afternoon in an attempt to acclimatise to Australian conditions ahead of Saturday's kick-off.

The world champions suffered a surprise 27-19 loss to the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship decider in Sydney 12 months ago.

Kaino said the extra time on Australian soil would be beneficial.

"There's a big gap between Super Rugby and Test level and that extra week with the team gives us time to prepare well and get our mindset and attitude right," he said.

"It's a harder place to play for us because they've got a lot more support."

Halfback Aaron Smith, who is vying for a starting berth with fellow No.9s TJ Perenara and Tawera Kerr-Barlow, said the time spent together was positive.

He had been refreshed by the new challenge after his Highlanders side was bundled out of the Super Rugby semi-finals by the Lions in South Africa.

"I guess it's all about refreshing, getting your head around the All Blacks' game again," the 27-year-old Smith said.

"I was really excited about coming in here and there's no better challenge than playing Australia in Australia.

"You're always thankful to hear your name being read out with the thought of pulling on that black jersey again."

The side warmed up for their bout in Sydney with victories against Northland and Counties-Manukau in a three-way friendly in Pukekohe on Friday.

The side scored more than 100 points in the two 40-minute games and conceded just the single try.

Coach Steve Hansen has elected to bring Crusaders loose forward Matt Todd and prop Kane Hames with his side as injury cover for incumbents Sam Cane and Joe Moody.

Lock Luke Romano and loose forward Elliot Dixon have been left in New Zealand, as has Chiefs rookie Damian McKenzie.

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