Kennedy thrilled by All Blacks clash
Thursday 27 November 2008
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."
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month