Behind the scenes with the All Blacks

Fri, 12 Nov 13:07:00 2010

EXCLUSIVE! With 300 days to go until the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Eurosport spoke to scrum-half Jimmy Cowan and gained an insight into the All Blacks camp.

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It's always a tough place to play at Twickenham so it was good to get the win against England and get our tour off on the right note. That was pleasing.

But there's still a lot to work on: we didn’t really make best use of our game plan and so, if we can execute that more effectively, I'm sure we'll be better for it.

But it was a good start and the boys are happy, which always helps.

Against Australia in Hong Kong two weeks ago we never played well, right from the outset. We were down 12-0 in the early part of the game and we did well to fight back and get a lead of 24-12.

But I think it was just a one-off. We didn’t execute our game plan as we would have liked there either. But it's all on an individual level and I think if we can get that sorted then we'll be the better for it.

It wasn't a very nice experience and we hope it doesn't happen again, but the consensus was that it was through our own fault and that we could fix it.

Obviously there's a lot of hype around the World Cup at the moment and at home in particular. But I think it's just one game at a time.

I think there's only seven more Tests to cement a place in the World Cup squad so it's crucial that we play well on this tour and then in the rest of the build-up to it. On the outer fringes of the current squad there are plenty of guys waiting so it's important to show that you can play well and that you're ready to step up.

I don’t think age is a factor for us. Certainly the older boys will tell you that, anyway, and they are running into tackles like they're still 20-year-olds - so we're not counting age as a factor.

We've been hearing heaps about the World Cup being between us and Australia but I think that it's pretty rude to just single out one team, in Australia, that can challenge for it.

I think there's probably six or seven teams who could win it - there are some good teams over here playing, England and Scotland for example.

Anyone, on their day, can win the World Cup - so it's not down to a two-horse race at all. It's a case of being ready for each Test we play and being ready for each game when it comes down to the tournament.

We've got Scotland on Saturday and that's what we're focused on at the moment.

Jimmy Cowan was speaking to Eurosport on behalf of Adidas - official partner of the All Blacks

Pippa Davis / Eurosport

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