Mils Muliaina and Richard Kahui both had good reason to prove they were worthy of their All Blacks jerseys in the win over Wales last night.

Muliaina might have been playing his 83rd test, equal with Richie McCaw and behind just Sean Fitzpatrick (92) on the all time All Blacks list but admitted he was nervous.

He has had a patchy season injury-wise. A broken thumb followed by a hamstring strain meant he has played just four Super 14 games and one game (at first-five) for his club side Te Rapa, presumably so he could be guaranteed seeing plenty of ball. Then Israel Dagg turned up and had a couple of blinders in the 15 jersey.

Last night Muliaina got over his nerves with a sound positional display complemented by a hunger for work - particularly running off Dan Carter.

He did his fair share of burrowing into and blowing over rucks, plus a number of tackles in the late defensive block just to make sure the selectors were aware of him.

The campaign for the All Blacks 15 jersey is a key World Cup sideshow over the next 15 months.

Kahui showed patchy Super 14 form but the All Blacks selectors have demonstrated their faith and picked him for this series.

He played outside Muliaina for Te Rapa to try to get back to his previous facility for gliding into the All Blacks attacking line and providing robust defence.

Graham Henry and co were rewarded with a try from halfway last week in Dunedin and in Hamilton last night Kahui played well in front of his home fans for the first time in a test.

His first touch in the 15th minute saw him punch through the Welsh backline after being set up with a juicy pop pass. He backed it up in the 27th, again with Carter as catalyst. Kahui galloped into the line but overcooked a kick as he was brought down about 15 metres out.

He backed up his attacking flair with some thundering tackles. Welsh recipients Lee Byrne midway through the first half and Jamie Roberts midway through the second would attest to that.

However Kahui did slip off a tackle in the 75th minute but the Welsh still could not score. Kahui deputised well for Benson Stanley when Rene Ranger moved in at centre, proving the midfield stocks still look relatively sound despite the absence of Ma'a Nonu and Isaia Toeava.

Neither Kahui nor Muliaina experienced a win on Waikato Stadium during the Super 14 season.

Last night's would have been considerable consolation, knowing their All Blacks careers are stable for now.

Still, there are tests and tests. July 10 against South Africa at Eden Park should provide a better gauge.