The All Black prop Neemia Tialata admits he's somewhat suprised to now be considered the 5th best prop in the country after being dropped for this weekend's tri-nations match against Australia in Sydney.
The 36-test veteran had his first training run with Wellington today as they prepare for Saturday's Ranfurly Shield defence against Auckland.
Tialata says All Blacks coach Graham Henry informed him that he wasn't required this week, while he initially found out through the media what the All Black coaches wanted him to work on.
However he says he's taking the demotion as a positive and knows he has to work on his intensity.
Meanwhile Wellington coach Jamie Joseph, who last week left the majority of his All Blacks out of his squad, says he's been told that he's likely to have more All Blacks available during the Air New Zealand Cup and will use them.