Stand-in All Blacks captain Sam Cane is anticipating power and flair from Italy when the two teams meet tomorrow in Rome.
The All Blacks have made 12 changes to the team that lost to Ireland, with the hooker, Liam Coltman, and the winger, Rieko Ioane set to make their debuts from the bench.
Following the captain's training run, Cane said the team had gelled and knew what to expect.
"They'll challenge us up front and they like to scrum and they've scored a fair few tries off their driving maul this year as well," said Cane.
"We're also aware that they've got some flair and they do like to play," he said.
"I think under their new coach (Conor O'Shea) we're seeing a lot more offloads and a lot more ball movement."
Cane said he feels comfortable leading the All Blacks even though he has done it only once before.
He will lead the team out into Rome's Stadio Olimpico in place of Kieran Read who is being rested along with several other established players for a test that no one, not even Italy, expect the All Blacks to lose.
But some New Zealand fans remain nervous about another poor performance after Ireland beat the world champions for the first time in 111 years a week ago to end the All Blacks' record 18-match wining streak.
Many young players are taking up key positions under Cane's charge, with two debutants starting on the bench.
Other stalwarts sitting the game out are fullback Ben Smith and winger Julian Savea.
"I feel a lot more ready and prepared this time and a lot more comfortable in my own leadership style and ability as well," Cane said.
"The key for me will be to draw from others ... making sure we are all contributing. All of the weight is not on my shoulders."
In his debut as captain, during the pool stages of last year's World Cup, New Zealand rested many big names and performed relatively poorly against lowly Namibia, although they still won 58-14 and went on to lift the trophy.
Italy, ranked 13th in the world and holders of the Six Nations wooden spoon, are given no hope of repeating Ireland's feat but the All Blacks will be taking no chances.
"It's almost a whole new team we are running out," Cane said.
"It's important that we get this right because a lot of the areas that Ireland threatened and almost exposed us on are strengths of Italy as well," the flanker added.
The match kicks off at about 3am (NZT).
- Reuters, RNZ