All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu can't wait to lead a team light on international experience, but oozing enthusiasm into the clash with the Springboks on Saturday.
Mealamu skippered New Zealand for the first time against Scotland in 2008 in Edinburgh during with he lead the team to a convincing 32-6 victory becoming the 63rd All Blacks Test captain in the process.
The Blues captain has accumulated 84-Test caps for New Zealand and will draw on all the experience in an effort to inspire a team full of young World Cup hopefuls to victory.
"I'm stoked to get this opportunity but I do realise the responsibility that the job needs to be done on the weekend," Mealamu told the media.
"I'm very privileged to be able to lead our side against the Springboks here on their home ground. I realise the challenge we have ahead of us but I have real belief in the team we have brought over."
The All Blacks team is likely to feature Israel Dagg, Richard Kahui, Sonny Bill Williams, John Afoa and Tony Woodcock making their first starts of the year.
"We still have a few guys here who have been in this team for a long time and we know the expectation that goes along with being an All Black," Mealamu added. "Everyone has taken responsibility which is good... and just to make sure that we can get the job done at the weekend."
The 32-year-old could have his hands full in the physical exchanges up front, with robust stars Bismarck du Plessis, Willem Alberts and Gurthrö Steenkamp all back in the Springboks line-up.
"You just hear those names and the first thing that comes to my mind is the physicality," he said
"They are guys that really carry the ball well and are front-foot defenders so it's quite a big side when you look at those guys. We are going to have to get back to our set-piece and we need to be really dominant there.
"I think we are going to have our work cut out up front but you never expect anything less here in South Africa. It's just a great opportunity for us."
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