All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore expects Wyatt Crockett to be the major beneficiary of the extra front-row option against Scotland.
Crockett hasn't been sighted since the All Blacks clobbered Australia in the second Bledisloe Cup test at Eden Park this year, but Hore reckons the Crusaders loose-head prop will earn his eighth test cap and finally resurface in Edinburgh on Monday (NZT) with one front-rower set to be added to the expanded eight-man bench.
"It's pretty exciting. Wyatt Crockett's pretty pumped about it," Hore said. "He's been the extra prop for a while so he's going to get out there. He's got all the chance. He'll either be on the bench or on the park."
That's not the only reason Hore is enthused about the growing membership of his exclusive front-row club that has, apparently, two requirements.
"You have to weigh over 110kg for a start and like to go to the gym pretty much," Hore said of those who qualify.
Another prop may also help avoid the incitement that is uncontested scrums. The gruff hooker couldn't think of anything worse.
"Hopefully we don't have a debacle like Australia and South Africa had where they to go to golden oldies and we have two fit players playing. If that rule can help it'll be pretty good," Hore said in reference to the match in Pretoria where the Wallabies played the final 10-minutes with 14-men after injuries and an officiating error led to a substitution controversy.
Hore and the forward pack were last to leave the training paddock as the All Blacks complete their second field session today.
With IRB powerbrokers effectively admitting they got it wrong by reverting back to original calls, scrums have been a focus for the All Blacks in the build-up to the test.
Owen Franks wore a boxing glove during scrum practice to perfect his bind but Hore joked it had a different purpose.
"Owey gets a bit angry if he doesn't get things right so we had to give him gloves to sort him out."
On a more serious note, rookie hooker Dane Coles has been in the rare position of offering valuable insights to his senior counterparts.
Coles, Crockett and Auckland prop Charlie Faumuina are the only All Blacks that have experience the "new" crouch, touch, set commands which will be reintroduced to the test arena this week.
The absence of the now-redundant "pause" term may require some initial adjustments from the more experienced All Black campaigners who did not play in the NPC this season.
"We've done a crash-course on that in the last week on how it goes. Coles and those boys who have played all year have been quite good," Hore said. "Unfortunately we've got no games to get used to it. There has been a few issues with re-set scrums so anything we can do to improve that I'll be happy to try it out."
- Fairfax Media
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