Ardie Savea is being driven by some painful memories ahead of New Zealand's home Test series against England.

The reigning World Player of the Year confessed the All Blacks got "smacked in the nose" in a 12-11 defeat in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-finals, while their last meeting ended in a 25-25 draw at Twickenham in November 2022.

Number eight Savea is back available for New Zealand after a two-year sabbatical from playing in Japan and is itching to settle some scores in the first of the two-Test series in Dunedin on Saturday.

Speaking at the All Blacks' official season launch in Upper Hutt, in quotes reported by the Guardian, he said: "The last time we played them we drew so we've got a bit of history.

"We understand what they can bring and if we don't front up and match up it'll be a long day.

"That’s what happened in 2019 – we got smacked in the nose and couldn’t recover. They've just played Japan and have been going really well, so we need to get together quickly and rip into things.

"We don’t know what they’ll do this year but for us it is just about focusing on ourselves and making sure we nail it.

"It (the 2019 defeat) still stings a little bit. It's what drives me now to keep going. It's not a feeling you want to experience.

"I don’t think it hit until the chaos died down, it took a while. But you've got to get up, learn from it and try and make sure it doesn't happen again."

England hammered Japan 52-17 in Tokyo June 22 in a warm-up for the series and Ardea acknowledged to feeling slightly uneasy, but in a good way.

He added: "I'm nervous. But nerves bring the best out of us. And it's a great challenge for myself to step forward and try and own it."