Kidwell, who was a student of All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka at Hillmorten High School in Christchurch, was a guest of Steve Hansen and his staff on their busiest training day ahead of the Test at ANZ Stadium.

After watching the way Hansen prepared his team, Kidwell was one of the few people not surprised that the All Blacks led the Wallabies 40-6 at halftime and 54-6 in the 46th minute before going on to win 54-34, and says he learned a lot from his time in camp last Thursday.

It was just great to see the way they do things, Kidwell said.

I see myself as a continuous learner so to have the opportunity to learn off one of the premier sports teams in the world, in the all blacks, was obviously beneficial.”

I really enjoyed it and I want to thank Steve and his team for letting me into their inner sanctum.

They are really professional in the way they do things, which is why they are at the top of their sport, and to see it come out in the game last Saturday night was really impressive.

What most impressed Kidwell was the leading role the All Blacks players took at training session, and he wants to create a similar high performance environment in the Kiwis camp during the World Cup.

What I want to do is create a gap between the NRL and the Kiwis, and make sure that when players come into the Kiwis environment they are lifting their standards and lifting the commitment there, Kidwell said.

That is what I saw coming into the All Blacks camp, they are there for a purpose and while the coaches are there to help they have a strong culture and it is player led. They have obviously got a high standard of excellence and what I was really impressed was that it is really player driven.

What I really noticed was that there wasnt any wasted energy. Everything they do is with a purpose, whether it is catch and pass, tackle technique or whatever and it is all player driven.

Obviously I want to improve the environment of the Kiwis and there are few things we can change which I think will really benefit us.

While Kidwell didnt want to go into specific detail about what the Kiwis may adapt from the All Blacks he said one thing that was likely to change would be their training schedule between games.

I had a look at the days they train, what they do on those days compared to us and the reasons why, he said.

They train two days before the game and it is a double-day, whereas we are used to having that day off. That really impressed me, knowing the reasons why they do it, and I think it could be really beneficial for us. Id love for us to one day have a mixed training session.

Kidwell also plans to make changes to the Kiwis playing style and has been in discussions with technical advisor Brian Smith and assistant coach Garth Brennan about ways to capitalise on the strengths of the players who will be in the New Zealand squad.

What I have tried to do the last four or five teams we have played Australia hasnt worked so the one thing I said to Brian when we sat down and talked about his role was that I wanted to look outside the box, Kidwell said.
Brian has coached over 600 first grade games so he has a lot of knowledge and experience, and we are looking at a different style we are going to play during the World Cup.

We have obviously got a lot of talent within the NRL so we are really going to try and use our strength, with the style of football we will play during the World Cup.

New Zealand meet Samoa in their opening match of the World Cup at Mt Smart Stadium on October 28, before travelling to Christchurch to play Scotland on November 4 and to Hamilton to take on Tonga on November 11.

By Brad Walter | @BradWalterSport
Chief Correspondent, RLWC2017

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