He partners Sam Whitelock in the second row
All Black stalwart Brodie Retallick is looking forward to this week's match with Samoa as they gear up for the Lions Series.
The 2014 World Player of the Year has been struggling with injury recently but has returned to the New Zealand starting line-up for this week's match.
The lock sees the match as the perfect opportunity to prepare for the first test against the British and Irish Lions on 24th June.
Retallick will start the match alongside long-time second-row partner Sam Whitelock after being named in Steve Hansen's side on Wednesday.
"I guess in the back of the mind we know what is coming in the next few weeks," he said, adding: "But the game for us on Friday night is a great opportunity for us."
Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Bruce Lim
"It is our first hit out of 2017 and I think we have found previously we have found some work-ons in our first test. It hasn't always worked out the way we wanted it to so it is still an All Blacks test and we know that if we get things right on Friday night that's going to be good for us.
"It is very exciting. We have heard a lot about the Lions. We have seen a lot of games so far. It would be nice to hear people talk about what the All Blacks are doing well but time will tell," he added.