Lineouts are a bogey area in the All Black armoury, a section of the gameplan which has supporters - and probably the staff and players - scratching their heads.

Tomorrow, they are the domain of Isaac Ross. As middle-of-the-lineout man he is responsible for the calls. The 25-year-old is not fazed, as he has been eased into that role.

"When Kevin O'Neill left the Crusaders I moved into the middle of the lineout and took over the calls and I have been working ever since on doing things there my way," he said. "It was the perfect opportunity for me to move into that slot and I like doing it.

"I enjoy it, and now that Ali [Williams] is not here with us, it has been up to me. I like it. Guys like Brad [Thorn] want to concentrate on his core role and Richie [McCaw] has got enough on his plate and I enjoy calling the lineouts.

"I like it because the guys have shown they have trust in me."

Super 14 was different, he said, because the Crusaders had all pre-season to work on their lineout cues and the jumping and lifting nuances of their teammates.

But the All Blacks have to get things together in a much shorter time and against, in general, tougher foes. Things have gone awry in the Tri-Nations, especially in the last two tests.

"They are pretty good opposition, real masters of the lineout as they have shown against everyone and we just have to skirt round that and find other options," Ross said. "We are a really good lineout, there is nothing really wrong with it, just some fine-tuning we need to do."

Spoken with the confidence of youth - or the attitude of someone making a serious fist of his first year in international rugby. Ross will be pondering the moves of Wallaby Nathan Sharpe, who calls their lineouts, but on All Black ball all his attention will be on hooker Andrew Hore and where the throw is directed.

"You can play mind games, but I'm not about to tell you too many tricks," he laughed. "I ... want to concentrate on what we have to do first and worry about the Wallabies later."

Ross said his test introduction had been tough and it would get more difficult but international rugby was not meant to be simple.

"I am still learning, still growing and this has all been a blessing in disguise for me with Ali not being able to play. I just have to play the game I have been picked for."