A heavy period of training prior to the Namibia game has George Bridge weighing in at his heaviest and primed for the final pool game with Italy, and then the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup.
The Crusaders winger, by his own admission, had the quietest outing of his Test career in the big win over Namibia.
“It’s probably the first game in a while where I haven’t got as much ball as I wanted,” Bridge said.
Despite a long Super Rugby season with the title-winning Crusaders and his maiden season with the All Blacks, the bulked-up Bridge was up to a playing weight of 95 or 96kg and hadn't lost any speed.
The 24-year-old flyer said he was “ready to go” for the challenges that await.
“I’m feeling really, really good actually," he said. "We had a big couple of weeks training up until the Namibia game.
“I’m feeling really fit and strong - probably the heaviest I’ve ever been at the moment but still feel like I’m carrying it pretty well.
“A couple of clicks [kilos heavier], it’s not in here,” a laughing Bridge added while rubbing his stomach.
“It’s a high-performance program and I’ve been getting into my work in the gym and on the training pitch,” he said.
“And the ramens,” Scott Barrett quipped alongside him.
The weight gain should hold Bridge in good stead when going into contact against Italy and then in the group stages.
“Ideally, I think, not so skinny anymore,” he said.
“Even against Namibia there were some big physical boys and it’s going to be the same going forward, and you’ve got to be able to cope with that.”