Canada scrum-half Ed Fairhurst is under no illusions about the difficulty of his team’s assignment when they face the All Blacks on Sunday.
The Canucks have the daunting task of finishing their 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign against the tournament hosts in Wellington this weekend.
Beating the All Blacks in New Zealand is one of the rarest achievements in world rugby. Doing it on four days preparation, and coming off a 23-23 draw with lowly-ranked Japan, is almost impossible.
“The All Blacks are an extremely difficult team and we have, I think, only two practices until we play them so it’s a bit of a short turnaround,” said Fairhurst.
“It would have been nice if we had a little bit longer to work on some stuff, but that’s just the nature of the draw.”
New Zealand have averaged eight tries a game thus far at this year’s World Cup - sweeping past Tonga, dismantling Japan and beating France heavily.
Fairhurst is already joking about what he will say in the dressing room before Sunday’s Pool A hit-out against the tournament favourites.
“I’m sure I’ll use a few cliches, like ‘they put their shorts on one leg at a time like everybody else,’ ” he said.
With 54 caps and a decade of experience, Fairhurst expects he will have to calm down a few less battle-worn players.
“I think some of the younger kids might be a little bit overawed,” he said.
“But (when you’ve) been around the block a few times, you’re used to seeing these players all the time so it’s not too bad.
“It’s just an amazing experience playing the best team in the world. It’s tough to describe.”