Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

All Blacks: Matt Todd wakes up to a dream

Having a young daughter means Matt Todd wakes early.

When he rose to care for her and turned his phone on yesterday there was a text message to call All Black manager Darren Shand.

That done, Todd was told he needed to be at the airport within the hour to link up with the squad.

"It was lucky I have a 15-month-old daughter, Sadie, and she gets me up early otherwise I would have been having a sleep-in.

"I chucked a few things in a bag, got up here in Auckland and had all the gear handed out and that sort of thing. "

The day had been full on and Todd said that he would feel better once he had had his initial run today with the squad.

"My plane ride was nervous and excited. I had an array of emotions and did not know what to expect. I just want to get under way now."

Todd had congratulated his Crusaders teammates after they were told on Friday they had made the squad for the three-test series against France.

When teammate and lock Dominic Bird was ruled out on Saturday because of a tendon injury, the selectors decided to change tack and pick Todd as extra loose forward cover for openside flanker Sam Cane.

"I wasn't holding out too much hope," Todd said. "When I missed out on that first training squad I thought, not that I wasn't in the picture but that I wouldn't make the team.

"To wake up to the text was certainly a surprise and that is why it has been so unexpected and such a great feeling."

Three years ago, Todd was asked to assist with the All Blacks at the World Cup as captain Richie McCaw protected his foot injury.

That gave Todd an idea about how the All Blacks operated and a taste for what he hoped would be the real thing.

- NZ Herald

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