August 13, 2021
Fiji-born Crusaders and All Blacks prop George Bower says Super Rugby helped him to grow and enhance his knowledge of playing in the front-row.
Speaking to AllBlacks.com Bower said he is making the most of opportunities provided by absences of injured players.
All Black’s second hame game will be a Bledisloe Cup decider but, whatever the outcome, the advance of loosehead prop George Bower in the absence of Joe Moody has already been a boost for the side while hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho has been another to step up to Test level.
Bower will play his second Bledisloe Cup game, and while he has been absorbing plenty in his late run to international play, he has enjoyed every moment.
With the same combination to start, Bower said while he had propped throughout the Super Rugby season with hooker Codie Taylor, he had learnt what tighthead prop Nepo Laulala required of him.
"I've grown a good connection there. And I've been connecting with the boys on the bench as well. It's coming on nicely," he told AllBlacks.com.
Bower said he felt more comfortable within the team environment after being more connected with a wider group of players.
The small margins at Test level had been one of the realisations coming from more play for Bower.
"For me, the importance of those small margins with everything, when it's scrums or lineouts, just how important those small margins are. They could be the difference and count towards the end result."
Bower said the scrums in the first Test had been a good tussle, especially at the start of the Test, and there were lessons he took away from the experience.
Both he and replacement tighthead Karl Tu'inukuafe had been impressed by the way Taukei'aho had adapted to international play.
Tu'inukuafe said Bower was a player with a lot of skills, both on and off the field.
The All Blacks vs the Wallabies match will kick off at 7.05pm on Saturday.
All Blacks:1.George Bower 2.Codie Taylor 3.Nepo Laulala 4.Brodie Retallick 5.Samuel Whitelock (C) 6.Akira Ioane 7.Dalton Papalii 8.Ardie Savea 9.Aaron Smith 10.Richie Mo’unga 11.Sevu Reece 12.David Havili 13.Rieko Ioane 14.Will Jordan 15.Damian McKenzie.
Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Luke Jacobson, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett.
By Romeka Romena