As the Blues swing into their pre-season training regime, new recruit Benji Marshall says he's never been happier and more relaxed.
Speaking to media gathered at Blues HQ, Marshall said it's the first time in five years that he's had a physical and mental break ahead of a new campaign.
"I never had that sort of a break with the Kiwis or Tigers, so to have the last six weeks doing nothing and resting mentally, it's been so refreshing. It's great to be home.
"I've been really happy with the transition," he noted.
"I haven't felt this relaxed and happy in a long time, which is great. Being back in New Zealand and also having a chance to see a lot more family has been pretty appealing for me and something that I've really been enjoying."
The majority of Marshall's extended family supports the Chiefs or Hurricanes, but the 28-year-old noted they'll have to change their colours in 2014 if they want any free gear from him!
While he agerly awaits a Super Rugby debut, the league convert has wasted no time doing his homework, gradually working his way through game tape to grasp tendencies and analyse the Blues' style.
"I'm the new guy coming in to play a sport I haven't played for 10 or 12 years. No one really knows how it's going to go yet.
"I can only hope and guess that it goes great and I'll give myself every chance by training as hard as I can."
See the full Benji Marshall interview below and click here to get your 2014 Blues membership!