The arrival of the victorious Crusaders in the All Blacks camp has come with some banter, All Blacks captain Kieran Read has admitted today - although one controversial hooker may be wearing it a bit more than other members of the squad.
Read and fellow loose forward Sam Cane told media at a press conference today before the team heads to Sydney for next week's Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies that there had been some fun in camp around the Crusaders' recent title win.
"They've been shocking, eh?" Cane joked.
"They've been pretty good actually - we had a good team event last night. We had some dinner and a bit of fun and took the mickey out of each other."
Cane said players in the team know each other quite well now after years of consistent selections as well as playing each other twice in the Super Rugby competition.
"They've probably been a little bit better than I thought they would be."
But Read admitted he was a little less humble about the result with one particular player.
After his side's 44-29 semi-final loss to the Lions, Hurricanes captain and hooker Dane Coles said in a post-match interview that his teammates will be most likely backing the Johannesburg-based side.
"I know the Hurricanes boys will be cheering on the Lions next week, but they deserve to be there. They are a great side, I wish them all the best for next week," he said.
That support didn't make a difference as the Crusaders went on to win the final 25-17 - a fact Read said he's spoken about around Coles for a bit of fun.
"That's probably one person I've been a bit more vocal around," he said.
The All Blacks face the Wallabies at 10pm NZT next Saturday.