Ardie Savea is committed to wearing his goggles following issues with them over the last couple of games during which he has ended up jettisoning them completely.
The All Blacks loose forward, who suffers from deteriorating vision in one eye and announced before the Canada match in Oita that he would wear the space-age goggles as protection, tore them off during that match and wore them in the warm-up four days later against Namibia in Tokyo but not during the game.
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Savea confirmed today that the heat and humidity was causing the goggles to fog up which was affecting his vision. However, he is adamant he will persevere with them.
"Like anything you try that's new it takes a bit of time," Savea said as he and the All Blacks prepare to play Italy on Saturday.
"It's probably the worst time to try them because the conditions here are very humid and it's very hot; I'm just trying to get used to them. They were fogging up during the warm-up [against Namibia] so I just decided not to wear them during the game. I'll continue giving them a crack and trying to find ways to wear them.
"I sweat a lot and having the sweat come into my eyes was tough.
"I'll work with the doc and people who make the goggles to see how it will work. I will persevere. I'll keep training with them and if they're working they're working."
Savea said team doctor Tony Page was an ever-present supporter on the sideline; Page has lens cleaner and replacement goggles in the event of malfunctions.
Asked why Savea took off his glasses during the Canada match only to put them on again, he said: "The whole system was – say the straps came off and I didn't have enough time to put the back on – I would throw them to the sideline. And in any other stoppage doc would come on with a new pair.
As far as being a new worldwide role model was concerned, Savea took that in his stride too.
"It's been good to see the hype about it… I initially didn't think about that when I decided to wear the goggles but seeing the youngsters actually being inspired to wear them now and try out the game of rugby is pretty awesome," he said.
A few of the boys have tried them on to see what they're like. They just like how cool they look, pretty much."
The All Blacks, who will leave for Nagoya on Friday for the Italy game in nearby Toyota City a day later, are committed to a much better start compared with their early performance in the 71-9 win over Namibia.
Afterwards, coach Steve Hansen reminisced about the consistent excellence of Richie McCaw as an example of a player who never let his standards slip and fellow loose forward Matt Todd, who played alongside McCaw at the Crusaders, said: "Obviously he was a legendary All Black and set the standard for preparation and being able to push yourself to the point you needed to get to get the job done. Obviously you want to put your body on the line and front week in, week out - that's crucial.
"We weren't happy with our start… we didn't execute the way we wanted but in saying that we adjusted.
"They're a quality team, Italy. They're a Six Nations team and are used to playing at that level on a regular basis. We know we're going to have to be accurate from the first minute this week. We're excited, we're building nicely for this week and this game."
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