Hansen expects big things from shy guy Fifita

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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Vaea Fifita is 'one of the best athletes' he's ever coached after including him in the starting lineup for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in New Plymouth.

It will be Fifita's second appearance and first start for the mighty All Blacks as one of seven changes made by Hansen.

And Hansen is expecting a lot from the shy-natured Fifita who does his talking through his performances on the pitch. 

Hansen has compared Fifita to the likes of former All Blacks destroyers Jerome Kaino, Jerry Collins, Rodney So'oialo and Chris Masoe while also hailing him as one of the fastest in the side. Pretty impressive for a flank.

"Vaea's a really, really good athlete. Probably one of the best athletes I've had anything to do with, from a natural just sheer ability [point of view]," Hansen told Stuff.

"So I want to see a real physical beast that we know he can be. But we also want to see him do his core roles, you know, dominate in the tackle, dominate when he carries, use his ball skills in the contact area as well.

"So we're expecting a lot from him because we believe he's got a lot in him. We're going to aim high for him and he needs to aim high as well and – if we aim high – I think he'll hit the target.

"He's just about one of the fastest people we've got in the team so that's not bad for a 6.

"He is physical, he likes being physical and that's not something you can coach; that's something that comes from inside you. That's a Jerome Kaino-type player, a Jerry Collins, Rodney So'oialo-type player. Chris Masoe.

"All those guys really liked and enjoyed being physical and it's quite handy to have someone in your team like that, because it usually puts the fear of God in the opposition – if they're good at it – and we're hoping he's going to be good at it."