Yannik Ngai has been named captain of the All Blacks against Australia in Christchurch on Saturday.
Ngai, who has been in charge of the first Test at Eden Park since May, takes over after the sacking of Steve Hansen and is in line to take over at the end of the match.
“I’ve got a great group of players here,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for me.
I’m excited about it.
We’ve been working hard on the preparation, and I’m really excited about the chance to lead this team.
I’ll be out there pushing the limits of my skills.”
Ngahia is in his sixth Rugby World Cup, and his first with the All Black jersey.
He said his role was to try and help the squad achieve its goals.
“As captain, I have the responsibility to keep the team focused and to be the person to keep everybody focused on the game,” he told reporters.
“We’ve got to have the mental toughness to make sure that we don’t get frustrated, that we’re not getting carried away and that we stay focused.”
“The biggest thing is that we have to keep working hard, keep our heads up, keep the faith, keep talking to the coach, the players, the support staff.
I don’t think it’s a question of if, it’s how much.”
Ngahan said he would take time off for the match against Australia, after he returned to New Zealand for the first time since the 2015 World Cup.
“My first time back home, I just felt good.
I think it was a good experience.
I had the opportunity to play the first three Tests and then go through some tough moments.
I’d like to enjoy that.
It’s my first time here and I want to enjoy it,” he added.”
For the next few weeks, I want the guys to be relaxed, relaxed and I’d be happy to take some time off.”