We're gonna have to switch into gear pretty quickly
Australia will have the home ground advantage, but New Zealand are determined to 'hit the road running' when the inaugural Rugby Championship gets underway next week.
The tournament, that features newcomers Argentina, gets underway with a double header on August 18 - the Wallabies taking on the All Blacks in Sydney and the Springboks hosting the Pumas in Cape Town.
With just over a week to go, the All Blacks have assembled in Auckland to start plotting a way of continuing their trans-Tasman dominance of the past decade.
Since the All Blacks took back the Bledisloe Cup in 2003, they have never really come close to losing it and only twice since then have the Wallabies won the first Test of each year's series.
But there is a belief on the other side of the Tasman that the odds are stacked in their favour this time, with two of the three Tests to be played in Australia, including the important opening clash in Sydney.
Wing Hosea Gear said there is no time to "ease into" the competition.
"We don't really have a lot of time up our sleeves, as you know the first test is next weekend over in Sydney, so we're gonna have to switch into gear pretty quickly," Gear said.
"I think it's exciting, as we've got quite a few challenges in front of us."
All Black assistant coach Ian Foster echoed similar sentiments and admitted the Kiwis are facing "a great challenge".
Foster admits that this year is one of Australia's better chances to snatch the Bledisloe Cup out of New Zealand's hands for the first time since 1998.
"That's the way it is in 2012," he said.
"It is the best of three and they've got two of the games.
"There is a real excitement coming from Australia about their opportunity and all that does is turn the Sydney test into a huge one.
"Clearly, they'll want to get one under their belt, particularly at home, but it's a great challenge and opportunity for us to go over there where expectations are high on them as well and it should be a fantastic way to start this Rugby Championship."
Having spent eight years as coach of the Chiefs, it was only natural that Foster would take some time to get accustomed to life with the All Blacks.
The June tests were a learning curve for the new coaching setup as much as it was for the players.
"I am really enjoying the step up, it is certainly a different job for a whole lot of reasons," he said.
Sources: Newstalk ZB & Fairfax NZ News