All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor was full of descriptors for teammate Brodie Retallick ahead of the veteran lock's likely 100th Test this weekend at Twickenham - one of them being that he's been a "bloody prick" recently.
Retallick has been forced to wait for his milestone match the past two weeks after being suspended for his red card against Japan at the start of this year's Northern Tour.
He was sent off for a dangerous clean-out in the 65th minute of the 38-31 win in Tokyo, having plunged into a ruck and driven his shoulder into the head of Japan back-rower Kazuki Himeno.
But having taken a coaching intervention program to shave a third week off his ban, Retallick is now available to play in the All Blacks' final Test of the year which happens to be at the historic venue of Twickenham.
Whether he earns the cap will have to wait until Ian Foster selects his side to face England later in the week but in the meantime he's certainly given the All Blacks coach - and his teammates - the intensity suggesting he's hungry for it.
"He's been a real bloody prick actually," Taylor told media this morning.
"We've had to go against him [at trainings] over the last couple of weeks but in saying that, he's prepared the boys really well and all going well he'll get the opportunity this weekend and rip in for his ton which will pretty special for him and his family."
Taylor added he felt the 2014 World Rugby Player of the Year was deserving of the milestone.
"He's an All Blacks legend in my eyes and what he's added to the game has been pretty special."
All Blacks forward coach Jason Ryan, who has spent more time coaching against him formerly with the Crusaders before taking up his new gig earlier this year, echoed Taylor's sentiments.
"I've always had a huge amount of respect for Brodie," Ryan said.
"I've coached against him plenty of times in Super Rugby games and when he's on, he's a pretty tremendous player."
Ryan added Retallick was an important pillar in the All Blacks group.
"He holds a lot of respect in the All Blacks group and he demands a lot out of the jersey and he demands a lot out of people in the room, people on the grass and the coaches.
"It'll be a tremendous achievement for him and we'll put in a performance he can be proud of as well."
The All Blacks play England at 6:30am NZT on Sunday morning.