15 Sep 2012

Excitement picks up ahead of All Blacks Dunedin test

3:16 pm on 15 September 2012

Hundreds of people have queued down Dunedin's main street to meet the All Blacks as the city prepares for their first test in its new stadium.

A sell-out crowd of 29,000 is expected at the Investec Rugby Championship match against South Africa at Forsyth Barr stadium on Saturday.

The New Zealand players signed autographs in George Street on Friday, and had pictures with the crowds of supporters - among them face-painted children and even more excited parents.

There were also many international visitors, including a couple from Phoenix, Arizona, who said they'd discovered the All Blacks four World Cups ago and had flown to New Zealand for the game.

The All Blacks have not played in the new covered stadium since it opened for the Rugby World Cup last year, and people are describing Saturday night's match as Dunedin's own World Cup final.

While the weather won't be a factor, the All Blacks and Springboks are sticking to their game plans.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw says they'll try to run the ball, but cut out the errors that plagued them in the win over Argentina in atrocious conditions in Wellington.

South Africa are still expected to keep it tight and kick a lot. Captain Jean de Villiers says they will stick to their traditional game plan based around first five-eighth Morne Steyn and the pack - unless the All Blacks defence opens up.

De Villiers says he isn't ruling out spreading the ball wide if the chances come.