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Phoenix Karaka eager to back partner Patrick Tuipulotu's own World Cup bid - 'Hope I'm going to Tokyo!'

With her own World Cup secured, Silver Ferns defender Phoenix Karaka is now looking to partner and All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu to do the same later this year.

"I didn't go on holiday because I'm hoping I'm going to Tokyo!"

Karaka said there's a bit of banter between the pair about their performances in black but she's ready to support Tuipulotu no matter what happens.

"Whether he makes it or not, I'm just proud to see him in that All Blacks squad at the moment."

Tuipulotu was named in the All Blacks' first squad for 2019 earlier this month and started the team's first Rugby Championship match - a 20-16 win over Argentina - in Buenos Aires over the weekend.

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The lock hasn't played for his country since a drug scare earlier this year. Source: 1 NEWS

Karaka said she gave Tuipulotu a stinging review of the match.

"I said, 'That wasn't a good enough game for me to get to Tokyo' - we've got good banter," she said.

"As long as he's having fun and enjoying what he's doing in camp and doing the best that he can do and if he does make it, then that's awesome and if he doesn't, then that's the better team on the day."

Tuipulotu will face stiff competition to crack the All Blacks' World Cup squad with world class locks Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick the likely starters and Scott Barrett - currently sidelined with injury - the preferred reserve by team management in recent times.

But Karaka said regardless of the final squad naming, the pair have already crossed off one milestone.

"I'm just proud that we've both been in the black together for once," she said.

"It's always been one made it, one didn't and that's been a curse that we've had but we've finally broken that.

"I'm just proud of that."

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The Silver Ferns defender said now she's back in NZ she hopes to watch the All Blacks play this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS