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All Blacks to fly out of blocks vs Pumas

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/09/2016
Charlie Faumuina © Getty Images Charlie Faumuina

All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina says a strong start will be crucial when the world champions take on Argentina in Buenos Aires.

The squad arrived in the Argentinian capital on Saturday and have eased into the week as they look to overcome a 16-hour time difference.

Faumuina, 29, told reporters he was impressed by Los Pumas' attacking intent in his side's 57-22 victory in Hamilton two weeks ago.

A raucous crowd in Buenos Aires could make all the difference as Argentina push for a maiden victory against New Zealand on Saturday.

"The longer the Argentinians are in it, the louder the crowd gets behind them," Faumuina said.

"It's really noisy so we'll have to make sure we take them out of the game early."

Faumuina, who is currently nursing an ankle complaint, felt Los Pumas had improved significantly since their introduction to the Rugby Championship in 2012.

They had obtained the in-game experience to match their physical potential.

"Nothing really changes from their forward pack, they love to maul and scrum and stuff and that's a battle in itself," the Blues forward said.

"But they're a lot calmer now, they love to offload."

Faumuina, who is conspicuous with his long black beard, has come in for plenty of attention from an adoring Buenos Aires public.

The 131kg tighthead posed for selfies and signed countless autographs on Saturday as his side strolled through a local market.

He said teammates had given him a bit of stick for his newfound stardom.

"It's probably just because I'm the biggest guy in the team, they just want to take a picture with me," Faumuina said.

The 40-cap Faumuina made his debut against Los Pumas in a Rugby Championship fixture in Wellington four years ago.

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