Rugby World Cup 2019: Rieko Ioane ready to fight for All Blacks' left-wing jersey

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane is ready for some intense competition to win back his spot on the left wing at the business end of the Rugby World Cup.

Unwanted since the Wallabies thrashed the All Blacks 47-26 in August, Ioane was given another chance against Canada and made the most of his opportunity. 

The 22-year-old scored one of New Zealand's nine tries, as they cruised to a 63-0 hammering of the 'Canucks'.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Ioane, who had some nervy moments in his first half, but he found his mojo as the game progressed. 

Regardless, Ioane is just happy to be back in black and knows he has a fight on his hands, if he hopes to reclaim the No.11 jersey permanently from George Bridge. 

"It was awesome being back on the field," he said. "It was a shaky start with a couple of dropped balls, but I'm happy to be out there and I'm proud to put in a good performance.

"Hopefully, I'll get a couple more games under my belt, but there is lots of competition, so it will be tough."  

Despite starting the game on the wing, Ioane spent some time in the midfield, where he had more success compared to his time on the edge. 

Assistant coach Ian Foster said it was great to see Ioane back out on the field. 

"I was pleased with Rieko tonight," said Foster. " He got his hands on the ball, and looked fast, strong and committed. 

"He had a high work rate. It was good to see him back, but it was good for him to get a taste in the midfield and it gives us options going forward." 

The match was Ioane's 27th test, but his first at a World Cup and he was happy to achieve another milestone in his short career.

"When the game was over, I took a step back and I was like, 'wow, what a crazy moment'.

"Akira [Rieko's brother] was sending me messages of mum and dad crying, so it was great to make my family proud and get my debut under my belt." 

On Friday, the All Blacks will name their team to face Namibia in Tokyo on Sunday, before finishing the pool phase against Italy in Toyota City on October 12.

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us at 5:45pm Sunday for live updates of the All Blacks v Namibia Rugby World Cup clash.

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