All Blacks ready to rumble after break

Date published: September 5 2016

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New Zealand flanker Sam Cane says the bye weekend in the Rugby Championship was "crucial" as the All Blacks look to continue where they left off when they take on Argentina on Saturday.

New Zealand are the pace-setters in this year's competition after registering back-to-back emphatic victories over Australia in the first two weeks of the tournament. While they are the fittest they have ever been, Cane still believes the week off, which allowed them to recharge their batteries, is important despite having the potential to somewhat halt their momentum.

"Personally, I think it's massively crucial, just as much mentally as physically, probably more so, to be honest," he told stuff.co.nz.

"When you can have that four or five days at home just relaxing a little bit – we're still doing plenty of training thanks to Gilly [strength and conditioning coach Nic Gill] – but when you do come back in you're looking forward to getting in here and you're excited, and I think that's pretty important."

Time away from the game for Cane means he usually takes complete break from all things rugby.

"I haven't watched much rugby, and I haven't read much about rugby at all either."

Argentina represent a different challenge to the one New Zealand faced against the Wallabies and Cane is under no illusion about the challenge at hand.

"They have come a long way," he said. "Once they get that ball moving, those offloads, they're some of the best in the world."

But the Pumas will still be doing well to rival an All Blacks side on the expansive front, with Cane noting that, both at Super Rugby level, and national level, the players are getting fitter with every year.

"It shows, just on the yo-yo scores, and the new fitness tests they're coming up with all the time, and Gilly leads a lot of that. He said the other day 'You've got running on Wednesday, Friday, and they're tough sessions', and for him to say they're tough, you know they're going to be tough, because if he said they were alright, they would be tough.

"His challenge, I think, is to make it tougher every year… and he's succeeding at the moment."

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