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Kaino backs new All Blacks' new breed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/06/2016

Flanker Jerome Kaino is urging the three new All Blacks loose forwards not to hold back when they get a crack at Test rugby.

The New Zealand back-row mix takes on a new dynamic in 2016 in the absence of long-serving captain Richie McCaw (retired), Liam Messam (sevens) and Victor Vito (leaving for France).

Three uncapped players are promoted to the squad to face Wales in June, based on dynamic form in Super Rugby.

Kaino is calling on Highlanders openside Ardie Savea and Highlanders pair Elliott Dixon and Liam Squire to change nothing in the way they have played this year and to embrace the chances when they come.

"I've just been trying to help them out with a lot of things that we do here and they've been great, they're always asking questions on what they need to do," he told reporters.

"All we can do is just let them mould into the environment they do naturally and let them express themselves."

Blindside veteran Kaino is favoured to start the first Test in Auckland next week, alongside captain Kieran Read and openside Sam Cane.

Savea shapes as the likely reserve although all-purpose blindside Dixon was nominated as a potential lock back-up when the squad was announced by coach Steve Hansen, enhancing his prospects of a backup role.

Kaino says he has shaken off a shoulder injury suffered early in Super Rugby which impacted on his minutes for the Blues.

The 33-year-old hopes the world champions will benefit from a camp in Auckland a week out from the Eden Park Test.

The change of routine could mean they are less rusty than some of their opening Tests of recent years, he said.

"Hopefully we can nut those things out so when it comes to Test match week everything just happens like clockwork.

"But the first Test you're always going to get a few mistakes and a few areas that you can improve on."

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