All Black lock Brodie Retallick is ready to get reacquainted with Argentina second-row Tomas Lavanini when they clash in Napier.
All Black lock Brodie Retallick is ready to get reacquainted with Argentina second row Tomas Lavanini when the two face off on Saturday.
The young Puma spent time with Retallick's province, the Chiefs, last season in their academy and made an impression on the All Black second row.
Lavanini has continued his rapid rise this season and started both of Argentina's Rugby Championship games against South Africa.
And he will now get the chance to take on the All Blacks in Napier, with Retallick expecting a huge battle up front.
“He was definitely a physical player,” Retallick told Stuff.co.nz.
“I remember seeing a video clip where he knocked someone out just cleaning them out [of a ruck].
“He was all about going forward and physicality and trying to dominate the opposition to let the backs do the work. That's the mentality of their whole forward pack, lay the platform and let the backs finish it off.
“Part of the game I like is the physical side. You can't do it every day of the week and expect to do it on Saturday, so you have to get the body right so its good to go on the weekend again.
“It's something I enjoy and as part of the tight five you want to set that physical dominance up front. When you are doing that it's a good feeling.”
New Zealand were back at their imperious best at Eden Park against Australia, scoring 50 points against the Wallabies for only the second time.
However Argentina will offer a very different challenge, having twice pushed the Springboks all the way by winning the forward battle, only to eventually fall short.
“It's exciting. It's another big challenge, another chance to prove ourselves as players and as a pack against a team like that,” Retallick added.