7 Sep 2013

All Blacks to avoid 'arm wrestle' with Pumas, says McCaw

2:32 pm on 7 September 2013

New Zealand plans to run the legs off Argentina with a high-tempo game tonight in Hamilton as the two sides meet for the first time in this year's Rugby Championship.

Santiago Phelan's side were hammered 73-13 by South Africa in the first match of this year's Championship but went down just 22-17 in Mendoza two weeks ago.

The All Black captain Richie McCaw says his team's strategy is to hold the ball for long periods and put it into space.

He says allowing the game to be a stop-start affair from set piece to set piece will make the match an arm wrestle.

"Traditionally that's the way Argentina have enjoyed getting stuck in, so we've got to make sure we don't allow that to happen."

McCaw says the Pumas had enjoyed success against the Springboks in the second game by disrupting the breakdown, slowing the game down and not letting the Springboks get flow.

The All Blacks will be looking to flyhalf Daniel Carter to ensure their attacks flow after the world's leading points scorer returned to the side from a calf injury.

The experience of Carter, who is playing his 96th test, and centre Conrad Smith (72nd) should ease the debut of inside centre Francis Saili, who is the 17th player to be given a test debut by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen since he took over from Graham Henry following the World Cup win in 2011.

Hansen says he thinks Saili is going to be a very special player although he's not yet the finished product.