Lions tour: Intensity in All Blacks camp builds as tensions boil over
Former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick's revealed tensions have boiled over at training ahead of the series deciding Test against the British and Irish Lions.
It's been an intense week of training for coach Steve Hansen's team following the second Test loss to the tourists in Wellington which levelled the series at one-all.
Fitzpatrick, who captained the All Blacks in the 1993 series against the Lions, has told Sky Sports UK that fights have broken out at practice.
"I've spoken to one of the selectors earlier in the week and he said there's been a couple of little punch ups at training, he likes that sort of thing." said Fitzpatrick.
"So the intensity's huge and it's a massive game. This Saturday, it's just going to go to another level."
Two rookies will run out at Eden Park on Saturday night with Ngani Laumape at second-five and Jordie Barrett slotting into fullback in their first Test starts.
Despite 20 year-old Barrett's limited experience, Fitzpatrick rates him extremely highly.
"[Jordie's] probably the best player in New Zealand at the moment, I think. He's also got that kicking option at goal."
Fitzpatrick’s 1993 team bounced back from a second Test defeat to the Lions to win the series 30-13 at Eden Park, and he expects history to repeat this weekend.
"I'm really confident, Kieran Read playing his 100th Test which is phenomenal, he's been an outstanding All Black. And they will just do the job, they're very experienced, a couple of young kids in the team, but they know what's expected of them."