Rugby: Patience pays off for Ethan de Groot with All Blacks start against USA Eagles

Ian Foster is giving his fringe players a chance this weekend but make no mistake: He expects them to meet the usual high standards he felt were missing in their loss to South Africa.

"We're coming off a loss that hurt," the All Blacks' coach says.

"We're now going into a game where we clearly go in as favourites, but what's important to us is the quality of our game."

The All Blacks will have plenty of chances to throw the ball around in what's expected to be a relatively open game 

But having not played in three weeks, Foster concedes there'll likely be some rust.

"We expect a little bit of a settling in period, but by the end of the game we need to make sure we're nailing our performance," he says.

"By doing that, we've got individuals who put their hands up."

There's several who will get the chance this week, among them prop Ethan de Groot.

He's battled for game time since his debut against Fiji, but having overcome a neck strain that prevented even his participation at training is hoping his patience pays off.

"You've just got to make the days count, and not count the days," de Groot says.

"I feel like I'm in the best team in the world."

"You certainly can't question his attitude and desire to play," adds Foster of de Groot.

That includes tapping into the experience of teammates, who the 23-year-old's enjoyed the chance to learn off.

Meanwhile, De Groot's not so enamored with the Washington DC attractions

"The old Washington Monument, it's no [Gore] Brown Trout."

Ethan de Groot is relishing every day in the All Blacks, if not all the perks that come with it.

Join Newshub for live updates of the All Blacks v USA Eagles from 8:30am Sunday.