New Zealand’s decision to head to Sydney earlier than usual should benefit the team in Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against Australia.
Usually, the All Blacks have travelled to Australia on the Thursday before Sydney games but have made a change this year by leaving on the Sunday prior to the Test.
And 69-Test veteran Jerome Kaino expects the extra time to be valuable for the world champions.
“I think it’s huge for us, having the extra couple of days together to acclimatise to Sydney and really prepare well for the Test match,” he told allblacks.com.
“Obviously for us there is a big gap between Super Rugby and Test match level and that extra week with the team gives us that time to prepare well and to get our attitude and mindset right for that Test match.
“For the last few years we’ve played them there for the first game and so they’re naturally up for that first Test match and we’re in their back yard.
“It is a harder place to play for us because they’ve got a lot more support, usually in Brisbane we have a lot of support there, but it’s always a tough place to play in Sydney and they’re always firing for that first Test match.”
By getting there a week early the All Blacks could have a full week’s training without any interruption and without travel or anything.
“It will be good for us,” added Kaino.
“Also with us regrouping a little bit later with the Super Rugby final and players being out, I think it will be more positive for us to be able to get there and get things going.”