Kiwi wrap (Fri)

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Tialata tired of tough talk

Neemia Tialata can’t wait to have a crack at Matt Stevens after the English prop criticised the All Blacks scrum.

Speaking to rugbyheaven.co.nz, Tialata said these kinds of battles should be fought on the paddock, not in the papers. But if Stevens wants to talk the talk, he’d better be able to walk the walk.

“If you’re going to come out and bag the opposition or the player you’re up against, you’ve got to be able to back it up. So I’m here, I’m waiting. We know they’re going to bring it. It’s a good challenge.”

Tialata is relishing a utility scrummaging role, but is still keen to brush up on the other aspects of his game.

“I love (running with the ball),” he said. “It used to be my focus coming through the age-grades. I’d try to get my hands on the ball whenever I could. But in this environment you do your job first, you do the little things. Then when I do get my hands on ball I’ll give it my all.”