He said any criticism of his break by those who may have felt he should be playing had gone over his head. “I’ve been in no race to talk to people about my break because it’s been my break. How they see it is up to them but I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Moving to the Blues was “a challenge I thought long and hard about. I knew I wasn’t ready to go offshore and play outside of New Zealand. It was about staying in New Zealand and giving myself a fresh challenge; moving my family up to Auckland to my wife’s home. We’re really enjoying living here in this great city. It’s all positive”.

Attending the Super Bowl and various tennis and golfing events are now behind him. It’s time to get back to work and for the No10 that means taking control.

“Naturally I will lead and it’s my responsibility, particularly to drive the attack. I’m excited by that challenge and I know it will be a focal point.”

He’s not wrong.

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission.

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