The All Black coaches are about as curious as everyone else to see how Julian Savea performs in Dunedin.

They think they have fixed the big wing, or at least got him back into the sort of mental space he needs to be in. But they can't be sure until they see how Savea plays tomorrow night.

"We will find out on Saturday, I suppose," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. "He has trained really well and he's a different man to what we got when he first came into camp.

"I am confident we will get a better performance than we got last time. Am I confident we will get the top drawer one? Who knows, but if we do, it will be pretty special."


Hansen is determined to be patient with Savea and coerce him back to his destructive best. This determination is a show of faith from the coaching group that there is no reason to believe Savea can't return to being the world's best wing.

That conviction has been tested. Savea lost form and fitness during Super Rugby last year. He drifted out of the campaign and had to spend three weeks reconditioning when he joined the All Blacks.

And this year, the story hasn't been too different. Savea has lacked effectiveness and confidence and he suffered a difficult night against Wales at Eden Park. He was so out of sorts that he was given last week off to get his head in better shape.

Hansen felt Savea was crippling his natural instincts by over-thinking his role too much. The coaches concluded that Savea had too much unnecessary clutter in his head - both game and non-game related - and that there was no quick or easy way to shake it out.

Watch: Steven Hansen discuss his selections for the third test

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen discussing the naming of All Blacks team to play Wales at Dunedin.

They hope that has changed but, again, are prepared to be patient if they find on Saturday that it hasn't. Savea's position in the squad isn't guaranteed but it is secure.

"No, I don't think his position is in doubt whether he is good enough," says Hansen. "You don't go from being one of the greatest wings in the world to not being good enough to make the team. We fully understand where he is at and what we are doing with him and that he is not far away from being where we need him to be. Until Saturday comes, we can't know totally but I am pretty confident we will get something out of him on Saturday."

Watch: All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith ahead of the third test

All Blacks Beauden Barrett on his selection at starting 1st-five and halfback Aaron Smith on playing his 50th test against Wales in Dunedin.