Sonny Bill Williams has been given a duidelike message from the All Blacks coaches as the world champions prepare for their clash with England on Saturday - they expect a bit more from him.
At his best, Williams provides the All Blacks with huge momentum in midfield, but his form has not been outstanding this year and younger rivals for a spot in the centres are pushing him close.
Assistant coach Ian Foster says: “Sonny has had the least rugby [of the midfield prospects] and is probably still finding his top form. I think that it is a fair thing to say.
“Our midfield now is jumping out of their skin.
“The last two weeks we’ve probably seen the energy levels and work-rate in that group as good as it’s been all year.
“The other ones whenever they have gone out, they have done a really good job.”
Beset by numerous injuries, twice World Cup winner Williams played just six games for the Blues and has appeared in four Tests so far this year.
The 33-year-old lasted 80 minutes in just one of those Tests and was replaced during the other three, including one where he spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Williams’s likely centre partner, Jack Goodhue, has been arguably the revelation of New Zealand’s season.
And, despite having played just five Tests, is looking increasingly likely to be the side’s starting centre at next year’s global showpiece.