Mealamu primed for Test rugby
July 11, 2011
Hooker Keven Mealamu is ready for the Tri-Nations after making the Super Rugby semi-finals with the Blues © Getty Images
Blues skipper Keven Mealamu believes he is mentally and physically fresh enough to claim a starting spot in the All Blacks' opening Test of the year against Fiji on July 22.
Mealamu, one of three hookers in New Zealand's squad for this year's Tri-Nations alongside the Crusaders' Corey Flynn and the Hurricanes' Andrew Hore, insists he is "ready to go" for the upcoming international season despite appearing in all 18 of the Blues' Super Rugby matches this season.
"I'm just excited to be back in camp again," said the 32-year-old. "It's such a huge year this year and we all want to be part of it. I would love to keep on playing and doing what I really love doing, but in the end I just have to see what the bosses say.
"It's just about managing my rugby well and keeping a good balance in life, that's really important. When you're always in the pressure cooker, it's important when you go home you relax, have time with your family and just enjoy life outside rugby."
Meanwhile, Mealamu was pleased to see Blues team-mate Ali Williams back in the All Blacks' squad after watching the lock make the long recovery from two Achilles injuries over the past two years. "I've been really lucky to see how much hard work he's put into getting himself back into this team," he said. "It hasn't been an easy road. It's been good to see every morning, always out there early putting in the extra yards. I'm really happy for him."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery