All Black David Havili is settled playing second five-eighths and is concentrating his efforts there ahead of the Crusaders' game with the Highlanders in DHL Super Rugby Pacific in Dunedin on Friday.
Previously regarded as a utility, with his earlier displays at fullback, Havili fitted into the midfield role as circumstances required. But the long-term injury to Jack Goodhue had seen him have more time in the position both with the Crusaders and the All Blacks, and he is keen to continue.
That could provide some selection headaches further down the line at Test and Super Rugby levels. Havili said he would still play fullback if required on occasion, but, for now, he preferred to stay in the midfield.
He was confident in his combination with centre Braydon Ennor. They had been around each other for a long time, and they were only going to get better. They face another test against the strong Highlanders midfield this week.
"We'll have our hands full and it is a good challenge for us to see where we're at."
Havili was confident defensive lapses in the second and fourth quarters against the Hurricanes last week had been sorted, he said.
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"We've had a good week this week and have addressed the second quarter errors. I think it's about us being able to stay 'on' and being aware that teams are going to hold good ball against us in the back end of games, especially if we are leading by quite a bit.
"We've talked about that and it is a focus point for us," he said.
Havili said it wasn't so much of a requirement to get around first five-eighths Fergus Burke and look after him. He had been with the side for some time. It was now his time to shine, which he had done in the games this season.
"Razor's [coach Scott Robertson] put a lot of trust in him to lead our team around and he's done well in our first couple of games. I think he's only going to get better, he's only young. The way that he leads our team off the field, he's done it really well. He's going in the right direction," he said.
After Tasman teammate Leicester Fainga'anuku's hat-trick of tries against the Hurricanes to open the season, Havili said he was only scratching the surface in revealing his ability.
"We've seen it in the Bunnings NPC the way he has held himself in the last couple of years, and there's no doubt he's going to be there or thereabouts for the next level. But I think he's enjoying his rugby at the moment and enjoying scoring tries for Tonga as well.
"The more tries he scores the more money goes to Tonga to help them out as well so I'm pretty sure he's stoked about that," he said.
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