Delany all set for Hurricanes debut in DHL Super Rugby Pacific

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A blindside-flanker, who can also play lock, Delany made an impact in the Crusaders' region secondary schools competition. 


Once he transferred to Wellington for university studies in architecture, he was included in Wellington's Under-19 side for the annual national tournament.


He already has an extended sporting pedigree having played as a catcher for New Zealand's Junior Black Sox side.


But, as the Hurricanes prepare for the first of two games against the Crusaders on consecutive weekends, the second being the opening game of Super Rugby Pacific, he said he was enjoying his first exposure to Super Rugby.


It had been a big step from NPC rugby with Wellington over the past two seasons, but he enjoyed plenty of support from the Hurricanes.


Delany had two nervous weeks awaiting confirmation of his Super contract in October last year after being told he could expect to hear something about his position in a fortnight. Once getting confirmation of his selection, excitement took over.


He also came under the eye of Hurricanes' assistant coach Chris Gibbes last year when Gibbes was also a Māori All Blacks assistant coach.


“That [exposure] was another big step up from the NPC with the contact readiness and the skill level.”

Caleb Delany


Delany said he aimed to get his Hurricanes debut behind him as soon as possible. Then he would look to get some good game minutes and play well.


"I'll just focus week-by-week and not on the long-term picture and do what I can do and play my best footy," he said.


At the other end of the experience scale, former All Blacks wing Julian Savea said having the Hurricanes together early in the season was good for team bonding. There would also be no excuses later in the year in their preparation and sorting their routines during the week.



He said he was still striving to be the best and was working on his craft every day and working on details so he could get involved in games as much as possible.


Savea said he felt good ahead of the campaign. He had enjoyed the last two years, especially having his family alongside him in Wellington.


"I'm enjoying life, I'm not done here in New Zealand, and I'm grateful for the opportunity from the 'Canes. I'm taking everything in and learning what I can and striving to be the best," he said.


Defence coach Cory Jane said the Hurricanes were happy with their accommodation and training facilities in the Queenstown bubble.


One of the benefits of being away from home together was that it increased the ability to have more one-on-one chats with individuals compared to being in Wellington and having everyone head home after training.


"We've got the mindset that we're here to compete and we're down here for a reason. There is still Super Rugby around the corner, so we have got to train hard because we want to win and perform well," he said.


Jane said one thing the Hurricanes wanted to improve on from last year, especially with the number of younger players they had in the side, was recognising big moments in games as they were happening and not after they had slipped past.


"Every moment that we play, or we get out on that field, is a big moment for us, instead of getting to the end of a game and going 'that was a big moment and we should have done better there.'


"That mentality to try and do the right thing, or compete and stay engaged, the whole time is a challenge, but a big focus and key for us," he said.




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