Vito remaining grounded
August 11, 2011
Vito will hope to add to his six caps against South Africa on August 20 © Getty Images
New Zealand back-row Victor Vito is focussing on impressing in training rather than getting carried away dreaming of Tri-Nations glory following his late call-up to the All Blacks' two-day training camp.
Vito received the message on Wednesday to join the training camp, before playing in Wellington's win over Northland on Wednesday night. He said on his arrival today that coach Graham Henry had yet to discuss his role in the camp.
"Some guys have probably had a long campaign," he told journalists. "I haven't really talked to Ted (Henry) but I think at the moment I'm just here to help freshen up some guys for training."
The New Zealand squad to go to Port Elizabeth for the Test against the Springboks on August 21 (NZ time) is due to be named on Friday. Henry has indicated some players will not travel to South Africa, to avoid fatigue.
Vito, 24, made his test debut last year and has six caps. He hasn't worn the All Blacks jersey again since New Zealand's 23-22 win over Australia in Sydney last September. Playing as blindside flanker, he made a defensive error from a scrum, allowing opposition No.8 Ben McCalman to set up a try for winger James O'Connor.
It was a moment that haunted him for some time afterwards and he described it as a demon he had had to face. "It took me a long time to watch that game again," he said. "Once I faced it, I chucked it in the past and moved on, and I think I've been better for it." He said he had never given up hope of getting back into the All Blacks and to be in camp again was "pretty exhilarating".
"Any time you get given a second chance is huge and that black jersey means a hell of a lot, especially being a World Cup year, but I'm not getting ahead of myself," he said. "I know I've just come to have a taste of this training camp and see how it goes. If luck be that I go away, then so be it."
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