Gear not complacent over World Cup
New Zealand winger Hosea Gear is not taking a place in the All Blacks World Cup squad for granted, despite scoring five tries in four games on their Grand Slam tour of the Home Unions.
He rounded off his tour on a high note with a try double in Saturday's Slam-clinching 37-25 success over Wales at the Millennium Stadium, to go with other tries against England and Scotland (2).
"I was just fortunate to get a bit of game time on this tour and to play better than what I did in the past," he said. "I have been concentrating on building on each game and trying to get better."
"I am still a bit nervous (about a place in World Cup squad). No places are really cemented, I guess. I am just going to have to build on my form going into the Super 15."
Another man to lay down a World Cup marker for the tourists was centre Sonny Bill Williams.
The Canterbury man, who joined from French club Toulon earlier this year in order to fulfil his ambition of becoming an All Black, baffled defences with his offloading ability, creating a try on debut against England and four more against Scotland.
The former Kiwi rugby league international was not quite as impressive against Wales, with the home side's defence flowing up to cut down his space, but he did manage to create the first try for Gear with another deft pass, and assistant coach Wayne Smith had plenty of praise for how well the 25-year-old has fitted in to the squad.
"He is a very selfless man," said former Northampton boss Smith.
"He is exactly what you want in a team and I think he has had a great season in the ITM Cup and had a solid tour.
"Now there is a Super 15 campaign ahead of him with some very good coaches to build on a pretty good base. I think he will come through the Super 15 as a top player and there will be strong competition between Ma'a Nonu and him for that number 12 jersey."