Kennedy thrilled by All Blacks clash

Nick Kennedy is determined to put in a performance which England team manager Martin Johnson cannot ignore against New Zealand in the final autumn Test at Twickenham on Saturday.

The England second row forward scored a try on an impressive debut against the Pacific Islanders earlier this month but did not even make the 22 for the matches against Australia and South Africa.

An injury to Tom Palmer, however, means the London Irish lock earns a recall against the All Blacks.

Kennedy said: "When they put up the sheet and announced the team I was just over the moon. New Zealand are the best team in the world. I've been watching them for years.

"Now I've got the chance to play against them and face that Haka dead on and that's what I'm really excited about."

Kennedy expected the second rows in the squad would be rotated during the course of the autumn series, but being dropped was still a sobering experience.

"I was told it was nothing negative I'd done in the game against the Pacific Islanders and that helped me," said 27-year-old Kennedy.

"I kept my head up and trained really well. I was gutted not to have the opportunity to play against Australia and South Africa but I was never going to get in a mood about it and drag my feet, that's not the sort of character I am. I was always going to come back fighting."

It is the attitude England require on Saturday when they face the All Blacks a week after losing 42-6 to South Africa, the worst defeat at Twickenham by an England side

Kennedy, together with second row partner Steve Borthwick, will be vital in trying to win the quick ball which has eluded England so far when they come up against star All Blacks locks Ali Williams and Brad Thorn.

Kennedy said: "I take that responsibility seriously and hopefully I can deliver that.

"Their scrum is very strong and Ali Williams is one of the best line-out forwards in the world. They're a very exciting team to watch.

"We have a massive challenge ahead of us. To have ended the autumn series against South Africa with that defeat and have no rugby until the Six Nations would have been awful, so to have this game to right some wrongs is a big positive."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...