Cory Jane aiming to mark his milestone in style
Cory Jane is hoping his 50th test at Eden Park tomorrow night is a lot more memorable than his 49th which, frankly, he would prefer to forget about.
''It was a very frustrating game,'' the 31-year-old right wing said of last Saturday's 12-12 wet-weather stalemate against the Wallabies in Sydney.
By his count he touched the ball two, maybe three, times, though he did want it on the record that he was by no means a spectator.
''Our trainer said I'd run the second most metres in the whole game. I was chasing kicks, doing work off the ball,'' he said.
''We did our review and there were opportunities where we could get behind them or break the line but our skillset let us down, and we were a bit too flat.
''We're playing international level, we've got the skills, we just need to take advantage of them, play better, hold on to the ball, see where space and mismatches are, and take them. We're wise enough to do that.''
Coach Steve Hansen has given all his fit men from Sydney a chance to atone - with the exception of Malakai Fekitoa who makes way for the returned Conrad Smith - and made it clear at the same time he expects a vastly improved effort.
That's just fine by Jane who's used to having the acid on him these days in such a competitive back-three environment.
''I think everyone still has a point to prove,'' he added.
''There weren't too many people that played outstanding. It doesn't have to be much, just a couple of passes, a couple [of times] holding on to the ball, a couple of kicks a bit more precise.
''At this level, if everyone does their job the performance is going to be good.''
As he prepares to bring up his half-century, Jane recalls too well the first time he ran out in the black jersey, in Hong Kong against Australia in 2008.
''Six minutes. I remember running out about an hour and a-half too early to warm up because I was so nervous, and we won. Now there's a bit more pressure on the 50th as a team because we were average last week.
''So we'll try get the job done and then worry about the milestone after.''
The All Blacks' self-style comedian, and father of four, was also asked about his advice for new dad Conrad Smith.
''I told him to stay on one. Don't be silly enough to go to four because you don't run the life any more, they do. I try to tell all the guys who haven't got kids to stay on none, it's the best decision you'll make.
"He was silly enough to go to one, so now I tell him 'stay on one'.''
Jane's joking about that. The rest, though, he's deadly serious about.