Dunedin - Waisake Naholo hopes he has done enough to make the All
Blacks starting line-up for the British and Irish Lions' Test matches.
Naholo scored a well-taken try as the Highlanders took down
the Lions 23-22 in Dunedin on Tuesday.
And Naholo is aware of the heightened expectation that comes
with pulling on the All Black jersey describing the chance to face the Lions as
a 'once in a lifetime opportunity'.
"Every player always raises their game when they join up
with the All Blacks," Naholo told The Daily Mail.
"The expectation demands that and nothing less; so the level
has to go up again. So it should be tougher for the Lions.
"The All Blacks are always massively prepared for every team
and every challenge.
"Facing the Lions in a Test series is a once in a lifetime
chance, and everyone knows how big that is."
The Fiji-born flyer says that the All Blacks are not taking
the Lions lightly and hopes he has done enough to convince coach Steve Hansen
that he is worthy of a starting spot.
"I was just excited for an opportunity like this, and
hopefully I made a statement for the All Blacks," said Naholo. 'I was hungry,
excited and just keen to get my hands on the ball.
"Tuesday's game was like a Test match, the speed, intensity
"It's massive for the Highlanders to beat the Lions, it's
great for all the boys and everyone there.
"But the Lions were really tough. They keep changing their
team and you don't know what their strongest team is yet.
"I certainly don't think the All Blacks will underestimate
"The Lions could put out a totally different team against
the All Blacks, so we just have to see what happens now."