Manu has fine leadership examples
New Highlanders co-captain Nasi Manu won't lack for inspiration when he assumes his leadership role with the Dunedin-based franchise.
"When I first started playing for the Crusaders he really helped me out and especially Mose Tuali'i. I guess what I got from them was confidence and to back my own ability and feeling comfortable to talk in the team environment.
"I've learnt quite a lot over my years and been fortunate enough to play among those great leaders," he said.
Initially, the objectives of the side would be to have a good pre-season, to get the side up to speed with the game plan and to build the 'brothership bond' in the side because that was what the Highlanders needed to do well.
Having been named co-captain he was looking forward to playing with more responsibility to help him grow as a player and he said he was honoured to be co-captain with Ben Smith. They had acquired some experienced players and he was excited about the team's potential.
"It's awesome knowing what so of weather we're going to get every game and I guess it's exciting because we know we can play whatever game plan we want," he said.
The year had been a mixture for him. Getting injured in the first Super Rugby game of the season and then having to miss the entire campaign before coming back to win another ITM Cup with Canterbury.
"I'm still quite fresh from missing all that rugby so I can't wait," he said.
There had been an expectation for the team to do well in 2013 given the experience they had acquired, but it was likely that expectation would not be so high next year as a result of the disappointments experienced.
"I guess what the crowd will expect from us is 100 percent work rate. We'll do our best and I'm sure we'll do a lot better than this year," he said.
One factor that needed attention was the discipline of the side, something that was not as good as it should have been. But it was a controllable the side could work on.
"We are going to have to bring the team in tighter. When you have been through those hard times it does naturally bring you closer together as a team," he said.