Hurricanes' TJ Perenara says he's looking forward to growing in his role as co-captain as they head into their next pre-season match against the Blues.
He and co-captain Dane Coles have played 237 games for the Hurricanes collectively and continue to bring a wealth of experience to the team.
Coles has been a team pillar for the last four years, captaining the side since 2016. In his absence, Perenara has shown he is a natural leader by stepping into the role.
"I'm looking forward to continuing our growth as leaders in the environment," Perenara says.
Together they’ve been working with the team on a new game plan after losing to the Crusaders last week.
“The boys are working hard, really good condition. I'm excited about the young group that we have and excited about the game plan we have going in as well. So the boys have done their work over the months that they've been in the pre-season.”
Recent changes in the team include Fletcher Smith taking over the number 10 jersey from Jackson Garden-Bachop. Ngani Laumape also made his debut.
"There are leaders in an environment, there are captains, but in a game of rugby, a 10 runs the ship. A 10 is the decision-maker. Our job is to give our 10s, regardless of who's out on the field, the best platform for them to make decisions.
"It's not about myself or Jordie or Ngani having to do more out on the field. It's doing our jobs really really well so that our 10 has a platform that they're comfortable with to make decisions for the team."
The team take on the Auckland Blues next Friday at Eden Park.