19/06/02.The All Blacks held their pre Test press conference in the ultra modern Millennium Institute in North Shore today where Jonah Lomu spoke about his recall to the All Blacks side.
Lomu will make his first start of the season, being preferred to Doug Howlett and the big Wellington wing will operate on the right wing, a position that is unfamiliar but unlikely to trouble the man who will win his 68th All Black cap in Eden Park.
You play wherever your picked. It’s been difficult to break into the side with the Crusaders going so well. I’m the odd one out on Saturday but I’m really looking forward to the game. I have my opportunity, I’ve my foot in now and it’s up to me to keep it there. He said.
Talking about the last game and the level of disappointment felt at the performance, Lomu explained,
People in this country expect a lot from the All Blacks. It has to be expected. We as All Blacks must do what we have to do to play to the game plan. Last Saturday we didn’t and we suffered as a result. So next Saturday we have the chance to put that right.
Now credit the Irish too for the way they played. We weren’t surprised, not at all. We got the same in Dublin. When you have guys like Brian O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara at first five, guys who read the game so well, then you’re always going to have a game on your hands. Then there is Keith Wood leading a superb pack and straight away you have a good platform to work from.
With non stop rain falling on Auckland for the past few days did Lomu think that the wet conditions would have any influence? No.I don’t believe so, well not too much. If you let weather become a factor then of course it will. But no, we’ll have to adjust, just as the Irish will. It’ll be the same for both sides
And how are the All Blacks and Jonah Lomu going to atone for Dunedin?
” It’s not a question of atoning. We have to follow the game plan. We gotta take the handbrakes off and let it go.