Prinsep gets captaincy taste ahead of Super Rugby start

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Leaving the country early in the Investec Super Rugby season had become common for the Hurricanes as a result of SKY Stadium not being available due to cricket commitments early in the year.


But Prinsep, pictured, who has a more crucial role to play this year in the absence of All Black Ardie Savea, said it was a good way for the side to bond and connect and an effective way to build combinations.


He was looking forward to the contribution newcomers, prop Tyrell Lomax and lock Scott Scrafton, could make to the side. They provided more beef for the scrum and were both top players around the field.


All Blacks halfback and co-captain for the season with hooker Dane Coles, TJ Perenara won't be playing at the weekend, something that was a frustration as he wanted to be playing as often as he could, but he was looking forward to the season and especially working with the side's replacements for Beauden Barrett at first five-eighth.


Jackson Garden-Bachop and Fletcher Smith were coming along well, he said.


"I've known Jackson a long time, he's a Porirua boy, played for Norths and my relationship with Fletcher has only built over the last couple of years and that's continued to get stronger as well.


"I've got a lot of faith in the boys and the job that they can do and the way that they've been running our team and the way that they express themselves and study film and make sure they are all over our game plans is something that we definitely need and we're looking forward to seeing that out on the field," he said.


Perenara said he always spent time sitting down with his five-eighths, whoever they were, talking and analysing games, and that was something they should be doing.


"There are leaders in an environment, there are captains, but in a game of rugby, a 10 runs the ship. A 10 is the decision maker. Our job is to give our 10s, regardless of who's out on the field, the best platform to make decisions.


"It's not about myself or Jordie [Barrett] or Ngani [Laumape] having to do more out on the field even in the team environment, it's to do our jobs really, really well so that our 10 has a platform that they're comfortable around making decisions for the team," he said.


Having to make an overseas trip to start the season was not something that was an issue for the side.


"I've been to Africa a lot early on in the season – probably five or six of my nine years we've been away early in the year.


"I like going away early. It's a good opportunity to build some camaraderie on the road. You're forced into an environment where it's just you guys. You're staying in the hotel, you're eating at the same places. There is a lot more time for genuine connection on and off the field, so I think it's a good way to bring the team together early in the season," he said.



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