Bleyendaal looking to make off field impact at the Hurricanes

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The former New Zealand Under-20 first five-eighths headed overseas after the 2014 season and based himself in Munster where he made 62 first-team appearances over five seasons.


Bleyendaal said it was awesome to be back in New Zealand and involved in Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa and was grateful for the coaching opportunity he has with the Hurricanes.


"It's been a great five weeks so far and we're really excited for the games we have now," he said.


The former Crusaders and Canterbury five-eighths said he was impressed with how hard the Hurricanes had been working and it was a great opportunity he had to work with them. The players had been collaborative in helping each other and he was keen to see them out on the field playing against another team to see what they had to offer.


"It's all about putting the best foot forward and if we provide the framework they can shine and I'm just excited to see what they've got," he said.


Since his last involvement with Super Rugby in 2014, he said the game had got faster, and more skilful, and that made planning for other teams more difficult. Yet, while preparing for opponents, sides also had to look to their own game.



"From what I've seen from our guys out on the field there is some great potential and guys who are really willing to have a crack. The defences have to account for that and likewise, the attack has to break down the defence," he said.


Bleyendaal said the level of competition within the squad was exciting. Everyone would get an opportunity but that meant all squad members had to put their best feet forward at training.


"That's the great thing, especially in this pre-season, everyone starts level and we go from there, and from what we've seen the last few weeks it is really exciting," he said.


As a former first five-eighths, Bleyendaal was taking interest in the dual between the contenders for the role this year with Jackson Garden-Bachop and former Blues pivot Simon Hickey in the mix.


"It's about putting their talents and their strengths into our game plan and trying to drive that forward. It's going to be exciting to develop that. There might be some growing pains but also be some pretty good success as well.


"I expect a lot from those boys. They're both pretty experienced, they've had a lot of opportunities at this level so I'm excited to get stuck in with them," he said.


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