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.
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection