The Bay of Plenty first five Mike Delany says he was meant to be holidaying on the Gold Coast, but instead he''ll be running out with the All Blacks on one of the greatest sporting stadiums this weekend.
The 27-year-old's been named to start against Italy at the San Siro in Milan on Sunday morning in a raft of changes that include two other debutants, Tamati Ellison and Ben Smith.
Delanty says it's something he can't wait to get into it.
His coach Graham Henry says Delany's star turrn for Bay of Plenty in the provincial championship shows he's the sort of player who develops later as his experience and confidence accumulate.
Only three players from the side that beat Wales have been retained, props Neemia Tialata, Wyatt Crockett and fukllback Cory Jane, while Rodney So'oiao will captain the side.
However there are plenty of reinforcements on the bench, including Richie McCaw, Andrew Hore, Jimmy Cowan, Stephen Donald and Mils Muliaina.