Cen­tre puts false starts be­hind him

Rotorua Daily Post - - Sport - Rugby Lynn McCon­nell — all­blacks.com

Jack Good­hue’s mid­field com­bi­na­tion with Sonny Bill Wil­liams will face its tough­est test when the All Blacks meet Eng­land in to­mor­row’s (4am NZT) test at Twick­en­ham.

It has been a long time in the mak­ing, given sev­eral false starts due to late with­drawals by Good­hue, one of them be­ing when hit with glan­du­lar fever. He said his mother’s chicken soup proved use­ful in his re­cov­ery.

Good­hue said he wasn’t sure what to ex­pect when first told he had glan­du­lar fever, he had heard some hor­ror sto­ries, but he was feel­ing 100 per cent now and was ready to play.

He was look­ing for­ward to team­ing with Wil­liams to­mor­row.

“Sonny is cool un­der pres­sure. He’s al­ways around for a wee off­load that can put you into space. He’s a good guy, he’s a good com­mu­ni­ca­tor and there’s plenty to like about him,” he said.

While Wil­liams and Ryan Crotty were dif­fer­ent types of play­ers, he had learned a lot from both of them.

Good­hue wasn’t fazed by the prospect of play­ing in front of 80,000 at Twick­en­ham. He hadn’t done it be­fore but didn’t imag­ine it would be much dif­fer­ent to play­ing in front of 50,000.

“It’s just a lot of peo­ple, isn’t it? It’ll be a lit­tle bit louder but I’m just go­ing to go through my pro­cesses, pre­pare well, try not to think about it and play the game I’ve been play­ing since I was a lit­tle kid and do my thing,” he said.

Tight­head prop Owen Franks said his de­layed start to Su­per Rugby due to his re­cov­ery from Achilles ten­don surgery meant he was feel­ing fresher than usual at this stage of the year and it was cer­tainly dif­fer­ent to other end of year tours he had been on.

Com­pared to a typ­i­cal sea­son, he was prob­a­bly only about halfway through his usual num­ber

"Sonny is cool un­der pres­sure. He’s al­ways around for a wee off­load that can put you into space."

Jack Good­hue

of games and was feel­ing good as a re­sult.

Now that he is paired with Karl Tu’inukuafe in the prop­ping du­ties af­ter Joe Moody’s forced with­drawal due to an eye in­jury, Franks said he had been im­pressed by Tu’inukuafe’s non­cha­lance since com­ing into test rugby.

“He takes it all in his stride, that’s prob­a­bly the thing that im­presses me the most. He’s pretty re­laxed but he can turn it on when he needs to,” he said.

He wouldn’t need a lot of ad­vice about Eng­land, he had played a lot of rugby in France’s sec­ond di­vi­sion which was renowned for its scrum­mag­ing.

“He’s new to test rugby but he’s been around the block for quite a while, he’s had the scrum­mag­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and he’ll be re­ally ex­cited by it.”

Franks said while the Eng­land props were not well known, he had been able to talk to older brother Ben about them as a re­sult of his ex­pe­ri­ence in Eng­land and had done due dili­gence on them from the South African game last week­end.

Loose­head Ben Moon had 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the Pre­mier­ship and was a de­struc­tive scrum­mager while re­place­ment prop Alec Hep­burn had sound tech­nique and looked the type of player who liked to have a crack.

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