They played the B team against Argentina last weekend and won 39 -0 which qualifies as a fairly major thumping. There is probably nobody in the All Black camp who would say the team played particularly well.
But the All Blacks are playing the long game and they know there are a lot of games to be played yet so they need to circulate the players and give them time on the field. So here is the team for Saturday.
Not to say there aren’t some big names there. Joe Moody, all the Barretts, Savea, Ioane, McKenzie, Perenara. So there’s a bit of luxury in resting some other big names with the game against South Africa coming up.
And there will be some young blokes keen to prove themselves.
If this team can come anywhere near matching the performance of last week, the coaching staff will be very pleased.
As experienced coaches know, at the end of a long campaign and a season of injuries, you are only as good as the team you can put on the field.