Melbourne Rebels coach Kevin Foote is eyeing the 2023 Super Rugby season as an opportunity to develop a 'fast and fearless' style for his side.
Making the finals is the side's goal, especially having missed the 2022 playoffs on a lack of bonus points.
Having secured Italy wing Monty Ioane and Wallaby newcomer Sam Talakai, Foote believes he has the squad to play the style of game he wants.
"I'm super pumped about the squad. Nick Stiles has done an excellent job with recruiting some older players back, and that's going to be crucial as we go through our build stage," he said.
With a core of international experience in the side, he is looking to their contribution to establishing a signature style of play.
"The simple way to say it is, if you are on the sidelines and watching the Rebels play, what are the words or actions you'd think about?
"When we say 'fast', we're not necessarily saying running fast. We're talking about speed of thought and skill.
"Growing up watching Super Rugby for years, the speed of the game is so unique. We play in summer months where the weather is nice, and it's awesome for crowds, so playing fast and fearless go hand in hand.
"We need to be brave enough to say, we've got that skill to kick the ball across, run it from anywhere on the field, so a fast and fearless brand of rugby is really important for us."
Foote believes in building a culture between players, coaches and fans. The former Perth Spirit coach wants that culture reflected in better achievement on the field.
"We know it's going to be tough. I wanted them to go spend time with their families, and physically and mentally refresh, and understand we need to be at a certain level where we are not peaking, but where we can start to grow our game."
Early testing shows the players had returned stronger and fitter. He wants to build resilience in the squad and avoid the players getting into uncomfortable environments that will stretch them.
"I want to see, under pressure, how they talk to each other and look after each other.
"When you love someone, that person means so much to them, and you're then prepared to do amazing things for them, put your body in harm's way or protect them, go the extra length for them on the rugby field."