Retallick, Barrett, scrum coach Feek chat ahead of All Black game against Italy

Retallick, Barrett, scrum coach Feek chat ahead of All Black game against Italy

Brodie Retallick, second row

On fellow second-row Sam Whitelock being poised to become the most capped All Black ever:

"Obviously, it's his 149th game (if he comes off the bench against Italy) and to do that from a physical and a mental side, to be able to turn up each week, prepare, play the way that he does is a real testament."

On the impact Whitelock has had on his career: 

"The biggest impact he has had is he was the number one lock and had been established in the All Blacks before I was. It was the competition to keep getting better and reach his level. He has done that for so long, which is also a massive achievement. 

"Even this week, even though he was named on the bench, he was still pushing everyone around the field and trying to out-do everyone.

"Playing a lot of test matches with him has been special but the competitiveness he has throughout the training week, week-in week-out, has been the biggest benefit."

On the possibility of being the first All Black side to lose to Italy not being relevant:

"No, not at all. It's a World Cup, you know. Obviously, not getting the result against France, we need to win all three to be in control of where we want to be. We talked about before we even left New Zealand that World Cups are different and there is that added pressure of playing Italy and the way things have gone for us and them." 

On not being distracted by what the Italians bring: 

"Firstly, you can't be distracted by what the Italians may or may not bring. We've obviously previewed them and understand a bit of their structure and how they want to play the game. But from our point of view it's mainly the moment, from the get-go. The start is going to be massively important. We can only do our job the best we can and then trust the team-mate left or right of you to do that."

On why he has shaved off his moustache: 

"I actually shaved it off last week but we didn't have a game. The only reason is because I don't have any clippers and I don't really trust anyone else's."

Scott Barrett, second row

On the importance of getting on top of Italy early: 

"The start of this test match is going to be very important. The way Italy have been playing, they hang on in games and they are willing to grind away and push themselves for that 80 minutes. The first 20 is definitely going to be intense and physical and everything that a World Cup pool deciding match should have."

On hoping their Rugby World Cup home base of Lyon will prove a 'home from home': 

"The stadium here is pretty awesome, pretty spectacular. Lyon has been a great base so far for us and people who have been around have been very welcoming. So, hopefully there's a few more black jerseys than blue."

Greg Feek, scrum coach

On what shape the All Blacks pack is in:

"The best way to judge that for us is within our own camp. When you see boys get up from set piece, their eyes nearly popping out their heads and really looking at each other and thinking, 'that's what we need'. That's one part of it. But tomorrow's the true test of where we are at."

On having the same referee, Matthew Carley, who took charge of their recent heavy defeat by South Africa:

"It was good learning for us and I think teams are adapting. We are adapting and it was a good reminder that at test match level, there are certain pictures that referees look for."

On how Italy have evolved since he was part of the side that beat them 101-3 at Rugby World Cup 1999:

"The way they play the game, they've got a style that is very attacking. They want to pressure teams and hold on to the ball really well. They've got some dangerous players out wide. Tactically, they seem very good, well coached. 

"One thing that hasn't changed is how their forward pack has always been niggly. That's one thing I remember about that game, you still remembered you'd played against them. You still felt it." 

On the Italy pack being a weapon to be wary of: 

"They've even gone for a six-two split, so they've really stacked it up and their bench looks really strong. We have prepared as best we can for what's coming. We know the first 20 minutes it will be a good match-up. It will be a physical contest as usual.

"There's a couple of guys in there, like Hame (Faiva) on the bench, some of our guys know. So there is a little bit of understanding how some of the boys work too. So, it's going to make it really interesting from my point of view too."

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