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Piutau having to curb his enthusiasm

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Sportal.co.nz     05 Feb 2014     getty Images

Like all the All Blacks, Piutau has had a belated return to Super Rugby preparation but he has returned from what was a superb finish to the Test season, a season that saw Piutau given the slimmest of chances which he turned into a royal opportunity to demonstrate his innate class, speed, pluck and that enthusiasm.

He said at Blues training this week the coaches had been telling him to take it easy and while he was keen to get back into action he also understood that he needed to build slowly into things.

Piutau was hopeful of game with the Blues in Sydney on Friday and coach John Kirwan said he was likely to get 15-20 minutes to expose him to some contact play.

Piutau said he was trying to slowly transition back into the team but he was also keen to get some game time and a feel for match fitness.

There had been time for reflection over the 2013 season and the impact he made internationally but the realisation was there that he needed to 'park that up' and keep working hard for better things in the future. And the exposure to some of the great venues in the world game, and the travelling involved in getting there had left him perfectly happy to rest up without more travel.

Looking to the Super Rugby season, he was conscious of his status as a more experienced player and said after his own treatment last year he would be looking to help out where he could with the younger players in the Blues environment.

Having been exposed to the All Blacks' environment he had absorbed the lessons of preparation: the work to be in the right frame of mind during the build-up to Tests in order to reach match times in perfect readiness.

He's been conscious of maintaining his speed, and fitness, not only to play the game at the pace the All Blacks management want it played, but also to add value to the team by contributing through his skills.

And by connection that also means contributing in what promises to be another lively Blues backline.