New Zealand-born Riki Flutey is relishing the prospect of battling the All Blacks at Twickenham this Saturday.
Flutey was picked to represent England after a lengthy stint in the Premiership, and recently declared his allegiance to his adopted country. Flutey never represented the All Blacks but has played against a number of the current squad. It will be interesting to see whether he can make an impression this weekend, or confirm he is just a second-rate New Zealand player.
“I have played with or against these guys most of my career and I’m really excited about Saturday,” Flutey said. “Getting the opportunity to represent England against New Zealand is a big moment. I am looking forward to the challenge of the haka.
“I was born and brought up in New Zealand but I will be singing the English national anthem loud and proud.”
There was little pride in England’s most recent performance against South Africa. The Poms were thumped by South Africa 42-6, a result that confirms the gap between the southern and northern hemispheres.
“We were very disappointed with the result,” said Flutey. “We have to learn from our mistakes and trust the attacking and defensive systems we have in place.
“We camped in their 22 for quite some time on Saturday so we had some chances. It’s about having patience and not pushing to get the pass away.”
Flutey’s Wasps team-mate Danny Cipriani has been axed and Toby Flood will now wear the England No 10 jersey. The All Blacks have also made a change in recalling Conrad Smith, but the change should strengthen an already formidable All Blacks back division.
Flutey is well aware of the threat the All Blacks present.
“They’re very dangerous in the counter-attack area – they have ballplayers throughout the side, people with great footwork and a very high skill set.”