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Dagg : Bledisloe Cup, It doesn’t get any bigger

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All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg says that Australia are “dying” to get their hands on the Bledisloe Cup and is expecting a massive challenge in the Rugby Championship opener.

Australia host New Zealand’s All Blacks in the Rugby Championship / Bledisloe Cup series opener on Saturday and Dagg says that, “It doesn’t get any bigger”.

Dagg looks set to retain his place at fullback pushing Ben Smith to the wing with Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo in a selection battle for the left wing.

Crusaders fullback Dagg enjoyed some of his best form for the All Blacks in June against Wales the challenge this week is to pick up where he left off in June.

“You’re only going to get a few opportunities and in June I was very lucky to get an opportunity in the second test and the third test,” Dagg told the Dominion Post ahead of Saturday’s clash with Australia at ANZ Stadium.

“For me, all year has been about having fun and getting out there and just expressing yourself. This is why we play the game; we want to grab the ball, run around and have some fun with your mates.

“So, yeah, this year I’m just really enjoying it. Playing footy, representing your country and this is where every kid wants to be.”

Although the Wallabies won the Rugby Championship last year the All Blacks have held the Bledisloe Cup for over a decade and Dagg is looking forward to the opportunity to retain it for another year.

“There’s a lot of expectation, you know, New Zealand and Australia, Bledisloe Cup, it doesn’t get any bigger,” said Dagg.

“There’s that special trophy that Australia are dying for and we are dying to keep so it’s going to be so it’s going to be tough out there. ”

“Guys are going to be throwing their bodies around and there’s going to be times when we’re going to be under pressure, but that’s why we play the game because you want to be at the top, you want to be playing the best players out there and doing it with your mates.

“When it gets to the 80th minute and you’ve played well and you’ve defended your hearts out, that’s when you get the enjoyment of really going to battle with your mates.”

“Then when you do score some tries you can hot dog like Beauden Barrett or Brodie Retallick.”

“You know, just having really good fun.”

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