Cape Town - New Zealand hooker Dane Coles has backed Nepo Laulala to impress for the All Blacks, if called upon to face Australia next weekend.
Laulala is likely to feature with Owen Franks struggling to shake off an Achilles injury and stood out in the team's warm-up game on Friday.
The imposing tighthead has shot up the pecking order after Charlie Faumuina's departure for France and Coles feels he's ready to shine.
"He's a great scrummager," experienced hooker Coles told Reuters. "He's a world-class player and whatever happens next week I'm sure he'll be ready to go if he gets a chance."
Coles also impressed in the 'game of three halves' as he continues to work his way back from concussion, but he had a warning for his side.
"We threw the ball around and scored some tries but it's not going be that easy next week, that's for sure," he said.
"I'm sure there will be plenty more hard work that has to go into next week to get a performance we can be proud of.
"It's going to be a big week for sure and we've got to really step it up."