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Payne one that got away: Foster

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/11/2016 Angelo Risso
Kiwi-born Irish player Jared Payne © PA Kiwi-born Irish player Jared Payne

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has labelled Kiwi-born utility back Jared Payne "the one that got away" after his defection to Ireland.

Payne, 31, was born in Tauranga and played for the Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues before heading north in 2011 to join Irish outfit Ulster.

He became eligible for his adopted homeland in 2014 and has gone on to make 17 appearances in the green jumper, including the side's surprise 40-29 win over New Zealand in Chicago.

Payne made nine tackles and an offload at Soldier Field, forming a resolute midfield partnership with Leinster second-five Robbie Henshaw.

Foster, who briefly coached Payne at the Chiefs in 2007, said the naturalised Irishman always had the potential to shine on the Test stage.

But he hoped Payne and his teammates wouldn't produce a repeat performance this weekend in Dublin when the two sides clash again.

"He came through a bit of the Waikato system and probably left a little too early for our liking," Foster told reporters on Tuesday.

"But as much as I would've preferred to see him stick around in New Zealand, he's done so well over here."

All Blacks blindside Jerome Kaino, who crossed paths with Payne at the Blues in 2011, said he was proud to see his ex-teammate thriving but not so proud to see him beating the motherland.

His side would have to nullify both Payne and Henshaw to have any hope of achieving revenge on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium.

Payne, for his part, warned the All Blacks would be out for blood after seeing their record 18-Test winning streak brought to a halt.

"There's pressure on them to win, they're expected by the New Zealand public back home to win every game," Payne said.

"There's a lot of fierce competitors in that team and they're going to leave no stone unturned in their preparation, and make sure they come out and put us to the sword."

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