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Squire relishes Kaino role for All Blacks

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/09/2016

Squire, who starts alongside rookie openside Ardie Savea in a raw-looking flanker combination, shares the same love of defence as Kaino. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Squire, who starts alongside rookie openside Ardie Savea in a raw-looking flanker combination, shares the same love of defence as Kaino. Liam Squire has learned about the subtleties in Jerome Kaino's sledgehammer style.

The dynamic loose forward therefore feels ready to make his maiden All Blacks Test start against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, replacing veteran blindside Kaino, who didn't tour because of a shoulder injury.

Squire, 25, won a selection duel with Highlanders teammate Elliot Dixon, whose Test debut was a start against Wales last month but who hasn't been called on since.

Dixon is among the reserves to face the Pumas, now ranked behind Squire who has stood out in three bench appearances.

A potent mix of aggression and athleticism, Squire says his game has developed since spending time with pack enforcer Kaino in the All Blacks set-up.

"I've been lucky to train alongside Jerome each week so I've been getting tips off him," Squire said.

"It makes that transition a little bit easier but I know there's going to be the expectations to fill that jersey like he does, so it's a challenge."

Squire, who starts alongside rookie openside Ardie Savea in a raw-looking flanker combination, shares the same love of defence as Kaino.

"It always excites you when you get to put in big tackles," Squire said.

"In defence your eyes light up when you get the chance to make those."

Coach Steve Hansen says Squire has edged ahead of Dixon through his lineout dexterity and a surprisingly composed approach to his promotion this season.

"Liam's a bit better athlete and is probably feeling more comfortable at this stage too," Hansen said.

"Elliot is someone who takes a bit more time to get more comfortable in the area so we'd rather bring him off the bench."

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