'He understands his role' - Argentina warned of Ngani Laumape ahead of Rugby Championship opener

Argentina are being warned to expect a performance to remember from second-five Ngani Laumape, as the All Blacks prepare to face the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Sunday morning.

All Black Ngani Laumape is hugged by Jordie Barrett after diving over to score the first try during the third and final match between the Lions and All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland. Source: Photosport

With Sonny Bill Williams absent through injury, and both Jack Goodhue and Ryan Crotty given a rest after their victorious Super Rugby season, Laumape will have a chance to make the number 12 jersey his own this weekend, hopeful of making the cut in a crowded midfield heading into this year's World Cup in Japan.

Laumape will be aided by playing alongside former Hurricanes teammate Beauden Barrett - their combination given a chance to shine at Test level after some dazzling performances in Super Rugby.

Speaking to media in Buenos Aires, Barrett spoke about his and Laumape's on-field relationship.

"He understands his role, which is his job in the team, but also he understands how important our relationship is in getting aligned so that we almost think the same thing," he said.

"He knows what I expect of him, and I know what he expects of me and he's worked really hard on that.

"He's sat down with Jason Holland at the Hurricanes and worked really hard on his attacking game and no doubt Fozzie [assistant coach Ian Foster] has helped him with the structures at the All Blacks.

"It's a credit to him. You don't see a lot of the analysis work that he's been doing and that shows how dedicated he is."