Past Bledisloe Cup record irrelevant now - Ian Foster

Ian Foster wants New Zealand to guard against complacency
Ian Foster wants New Zealand to guard against complacency

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster believes the All Blacks' dominance over Australia in the Bledisloe Cup contests will not count as the two teams face each other at Marvel Stadium on Thursday.

The last time the All Blacks lost the Bledisloe Cup was in 2002 following which they claimed the title for 19 consecutive years.

Nevertheless, they have been tested this year and will head into the first of the two games having lost a home series against Ireland apart from defeats apiece against South Africa and Argentina in the first four rounds of the Rugby Championship.

"I think the Bledisloe has always been something our public is excited about. New Zealand-Australia Test matches are pretty special," said Foster.

"The fact we've held it for a while is nice but kind of irrelevant right now. It's about the here and now, and there would be nothing better than to lock that away on Thursday night."

Foster has replaced Ardie Savea with Hoskins Sotutu, who will be making his first start in the competition and Foster is confident of the 24-year-old's potential.

"He's been training alongside Ardie and putting pressure on during training weeks. He knows his roles well and needs to go and execute the game we need him to play, but also not to be afraid to show some of the skill set he's got.

"We are confident he's ready."