Twelve months on from his tentative steps, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck feels more confident going into his second season with the Blues.
Having scaled the heights in rugby league, it has taken time to readjust to the demands of rugby, but he is ready for a big season in Rugby World Cup year.
Tuivasa-Sheck played the first half of the Blues' pre-season 28-21 win over the Hurricanes in Auckland on Saturday, scoring his side's first try.
Tuivasa-Sheck said getting through his first 40 minutes was a box he wanted to tick. Then, armed with new clips from the outing, he would study to see where he needed to grow his game.
He said he was excited about his second year of rugby and would be calmer in his thinking, not worrying so much about positional requirements and hesitating.
"That's my theme this year, to play more freely and be in the right places."
He had been worrying about a 'million things' last year and leaning on other players for advice and guidance, but now, with a season under his belt, he felt he could focus on three or four aspects essential to his play.
He was happy to play where required but enjoyed playing second five-eighths.
Tuivasa-Sheck was happy with his introduction to the All Blacks last year, even with his limited game time.
"I was just there soaking it all in. I got to play in the (Bunnings) NPC, the All Blacks XV. I was stoked. I just wanted to play rugby. I wished I could play more games for the All Blacks but this is the path I'm going through."
Coach Leon MacDonald said he had seen at training that Tuivasa-Sheck's confidence was growing.
"He's in position earlier because he knows where he's going, he understands tactically what he is trying to achieve around the game. It's a good opportunity for him, he's fit and ready to go. He's looking forward to a good year."
RTS runs it in for our first of 2023 pic.twitter.com/iu1y1JqucO— The Blues (@BluesRugbyTeam) February 12, 2023