Matt Todd has spent the bulk of his career on the fringes of the All Blacks, but has no gripes ahead of a rare test start in Sunday's clash against Argentina.
The Crusaders flanker first made the All Blacks in 2013 but will make just his fourth test start in the Rugby Championship match in Buenos Aires.
The 29-year-old had to bide his time behind former captain Richie McCaw and Sam Cane, but says his attitude never wavered despite often being overlooked for selection.
"If you drop your lip or sulk when you're not in this team it's not going to do you any favours and it's not going to help you take an opportunity if it does present itself," said Todd.
"So no matter where it is or who I'm training with or for I just try to work hard and put my best foot forward and just try to get better all the time."
It took five years before Todd made his first run-on appearance for the All Blacks against the Springboks in Durban last season. He backed up to start against the Wallabies at Eden Park, producing a man of the match performance in the 37-10 win, and was called on again for the end of year clash against France.
Despite a lack of game time over the years, Todd insists he's never been tempted to leave New Zealand to take up a lucrative deal with an overseas club.
"I guess there's more to footy than just money or playing overseas," he said.
"And I've got a young family so that always plays into consideration.
"In saying that I'd probably look at it at some stage, playing overseas and what not, but I enjoy my footy here whether it be for the Crusaders, Canterbury or when I'm in this environment.
"So every time your contract's up you weigh it up and there's pros and cons and I'm signed until next year so no doubt sometime in the future I'll weigh that up again and make a decision that's best for my family."
The All Blacks have held their final major training session of the week overnight, and will cap their preparations with their captain's run tomorrow.
All Blacks team:
Damian McKenzie, Waisake Naholo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, Vaea Fifita, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Nepo Laulala, Dane Coles, Kane Hames
Reserves: Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Wyatt Crockett, Codie Taylor, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, David Havili