Warriors forward Bodene Thompson is pushing for a spot on the Kiwis squad after last year's sleeping pill and energy drink saga which saw him stood down by the club. Thompson is hoping to rediscover the form that saw him selected in 2014.
A year ago seems like an eternity when the second-rower was omitted from the Kiwis.
Thompson (Ngāi Te Rangi) says, "Everyone makes mistakes, [it's] definitely one we learned from. It's just one of those things that we got to learn from it and make sure you can't do it. It's not acceptable in the game."
Thompson has strong competition from the current crop of second-rowers to make the Kiwis side. Despite not thinking too far ahead, Thompson still has the desire to put on the black jersey.
"It's a bonus, and I think that's every Kiwi player's dream [which] is to play for their country. Obviously, it's always in the back of your head."
With the announcement of Adam Blair as captain, Thompson has another incentive to aim for the squad. The two are former West Tigers teammates and are close friends.
"He's very professional, family driven man. He's all about family. He doesn't leave any stone unturned and I can't say enough about him," Blair says.
So far this season, the 28-year-old has clocked up a total of 692 metres, and three tries. Despite being the second highest tackler with 375 (second only to Simon Mannering), Thompson's attacking play has gone missing this season.
"It's a big key for me and making sure I'm consistent every week. I've been a bit up and down lately. So, consistency is just a massive work-on for me getting my job done for the team and just doing whatever it takes pretty much."
With 20 weeks out until the start of the World Cup, time is on Thompson's side to force Kiwis Coach David Kidwell to pick him.