All Blacks get stuck into training

11:38 am on 16 September 2015

The All Blacks have finally started their build-up to their first Rugby World Cup pool match against Argentina at Wembley Stadium on Monday.

After their first four days in London were taken up with promotional work, meetings and gym sessions, the squad were put through an intense training session at their base on the outskirts of the city.

All Black midfielder Sonny Bill Williams

All Black midfielder Sonny Bill Williams Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Almost a week after their last training session in Auckland, the All Blacks got stuck into some contact work on their hotel's training field near Twickenham.

The Lensbury has its own rugby field, which pleased many of the All Blacks as it means no travel was necessary.

Flanker Sam Cane said having the training ground just a hundred metres away "made life a lot easier for the players".

"Often you could be a half an hour on a bus each way to training and that can add up, so by the time we finished our training this morning we went to the pool and were back in time for lunch," Cane said.

"That's the nice part of it, it gives them a bit more time to fit some extra things into their day and it's not quite as jam-packed as it can be some times."

Utility back Colin Slade said some of the players were getting restless and couldn't wait to get training.

"The boys haven't been able get their hands on a rugby ball for a while and so they were getting a bit itchy," Slade said.

"The training session was really good and was based around physicality so they enjoyed that and it was nice to get it out of their system."

All of the 31-man squad are expected to get game time in the All Blacks' first three pool games.

They play Namibia at the Olympic Stadium four days after the Pumas game, with a clash with Georgia a week later in Cardiff.

All Black first five Beauden Barrett

All Black first five Beauden Barrett Photo: PHOTOSPORT

First-five Beauden Barrett, who is vying with Daniel Carter and Colin Slade for playing time, said the competition within the squad had already begun.

"Within these pool games there might be rotating, we have to use all of our squad if we want to perform at this tournament," Barrett said. "I think it's great the pressure we have on each other in all positions."

Fully 17 of the All Blacks squad are playing in their first World Cup.

Midfielder Sonny Bill Williams, who was a part of the 2011 campaign and has played in a Rugby League World Cup, had plenty of advice for the newer squad members.

"Looking back at those experiences the reason that you play so well is that you don't let the pressure get to you," Williams said.

"Even though there is a lot of media here and there are pressures on the boys to perform, as long as you keep it simple and go through your daily processes, which we all are, then I'm pretty sure it will work out."

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