The extent of Julian Savea's illness has been revealed for the first time - the big All Blacks' wing suffered a lung infection last week, which when combined with his on-going asthma issues, necessitated a trip to hospital in Paris.

"I got a flu and then with my asthma and stuff, my lungs got infected so I ended up going to the hospital on Thursday. I was a lot better after that,'' he said today.

"It was pretty tough. I wasn't feeling so good. I'm just glad to be back training.''

Savea said he needed to be careful about his asthma, making sure he took his medication at the right times, but that it wasn't too much of a burden.

Advertisement

"I've been quite good at keeping on top of it... It's just another thing I need to be professional about. I have to keep on top of it.''

Now fully recovered, Savea is the only change to the starting line-up which beat France 26-19 at the Stade de France. He has come in for Cory Jane for the crunch match at Twickenham.

In a twist, he was one of the few All Blacks who didn't fall ill to a virus at this time last year.

Charles Piutau has retained his place on the other wing after his exploits in Paris where he sparked the All Blacks into action after halftime when scoring a try and setting up the other for No8 Kieran Read.

Halfback Aaron Smith, meanwhile, spoke of the prospect of playing alongside Dan Carter during the latter's 100th test and described the Crusaders player as the "epitome of the All Blacks''.

"I remember well my first All Blacks training, just being around the guy,'' Smith said.

"He's the epitome of the All Blacks and the exact role model you want. To play with him week in and week out, whether he's injured or not, he's an instrumental part [of the team].

"The way he carries himself is awesome... I'm sure all of us will be putting our best foot forward to get the win for him.

"The first thing is he wants me to express myself. He says 'don't make it a burdon'. He's always about just play what you see, 'that's the game that got you here'. I always remember that from my debut... he gives you that confidence to do that.''

Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry are the Herald scribes on tour with the All Blacks and give their expert opinion and analysis of the team to play England and what needs to happen for the men in black to avenge last years defeat.