Rugby-Foster happy with All Blacks ahead of Bledisloe squad announcement

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New Zealand Press Conference
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(Reuters) - New Zealand coach Ian Foster will take the All Blacks into next month's opening Bledisloe Cup with Australia in a confident mood after an improved performance against Fiji on Saturday.

The All Blacks cruised to a 60-13 victory in Hamilton as Foster's side notched up a third win in two weeks after an earlier victory over Fiji and a 102-0 pummelling of Tonga at the start of the month.

"The way we've finished we've done some really clinical work today that shows when we get the intent right and we improve the quality of our ball carrying we can actually get the speed of ball we want," he said.

"There's still a little way to go but, overall, when I look at the three tests, I'm pretty delighted with where we're at right now."

The All Blacks take on the Wallabies in the first Bledisloe Cup clash on August 7 at Eden Park in Auckland and Foster will name his squad on Monday.

Foster has brought six newcomers into his squad over the last three matches while also reintroducing Beauden Barrett, Ardie Savea and Anton Lienert-Brown and he is pleased with the progress being made.

"It's been a series that we've clearly wanted to build some parts of our game," said Foster.

"We've had to manage a few players from the last six months. We've had a couple of players come back from Japan, out of quarantine. We've had a couple of longer-term injuries.

"We've seen a little bit of rust in some of those guys every time they've played.

"From that perspective it's been a great opportunity to get those guys back playing."

Hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho earned praise from Foster after coming off the bench to score a pair of tries in his debut against Fiji.

"Samisoni has been in for two weeks and quite frankly he's been outstanding behind the scenes," he said.

"He just backs himself and showed he can be an accurate rugby player so it gives us some really good options in that space."

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Sam Holmes)

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