New Zealand scrum coach Mike Cron has been impressed by what he's seen from the All Black forwards ahead of the new season.
Cron and the other All Blacks coaches are checking in on each franchise with Super Rugby starting this weekend.
Conscious that some players might let themselves go a little bit over Christmas, Cron seems pleased by the conditioning of those front-rowers likely to find themselves in England at the end of the year for the Rugby World Cup.
"Everyone looks in great nick; they're all fresh and ready to go," Cron told ONE News.
"Some of the big boys do keep their feet in the trough a bit longer over Christmas, but in saying that they're all in great nick, probably the best shape I've seen Charlie (Faumuina) in at this stage of the season.
Cron also added that he expects to see an improved scrummaging performance playing on the artificial turf now commonly used in Europe, notably at the Millennium Stadium.
"The biggest thing that's going to help is the big stadiums have changed their surfaces, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Twickenham, they've all changed to a bit of artificial turf, I think that's made a heck of a difference."