Rugby: Newest All Black Samisoni Taukei'aho hails 'bloody special' Dane Coles' mentoring after making test debut

All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho was quick to credit the work of idol Dane Coles following his test debut in Saturday's 60-13 victory over Fiji in Hamilton.

Taukei'aho, 23, became All Black No.1198 on Saturday night, replacing Codie Taylor for his first taste of test rugby.

But Taukei'aho's week could have played out differently, as he was not originally named in coach Ian Foster's matchday 23.

The Chiefs hooker was rushed into the side on Friday after Coles pulled up with a calf injury in training, seeing Taukei'aho take his spot on the bench.

And although some senior players may be threatened by the next generation coming through to take their spots, Coles was the opposite, and took it upon himself to mentor Taueki'aho.

"He's a bloody special player," Taukei'aho says of Coles. "To come in and replace him was pretty special.

"He pretty much took me under his wing when he found out he got pulled out and I got the call up. 

"[There were] a few words from him, [he] just said 'go out there and back yourself, believe in yourself, you're here for a reason'."

Taukei'aho followed in his idol's footsteps with not one, but two tries on debut, following on from Coles' stunning display against Fiji in Dunedin last week - where he scored four tries as a second-half substitute.

"I think it's a bit of his lucky charm that came my way," Taukei'aho joked.

Taukei'aho also had the added bonus of getting to make his test debut on his home ground, Hamilton's FMG Stadium, where he plays his Super Rugby with the Chiefs.

"[I was] a bit nervous at the start, but we pride ourselves, in camp, on preparing to play, even if you're not named in the 23.

"I was ready and excited to go. I just went out there and did my job.

"It was pretty special. [It was] a dream come true to play [for] the All Blacks at home was really special."