Talented outside back Tim Nanai-Williams knows that he will have to shine this year if he is to nail down a regular place in the Chiefs star-studded backline.
With big names like World Cup-winners Aaron Cruden and Sonny Bill Williams joining the likes of Lelia Masaga, Sevens star Declan O'Donnell and former Highlander Robbie Robinson in Hamilton there should be some fierce competition for places as they try to impress new backline coach Wayne Smith.
Nani-Williams is embracing the challenge and is excited about the prospect of raising his game in a competitive atmosphere.
He told the Daily Post: "There are a new bunch of boys here. We're all from different backgrounds and there is some big talent in the team and I can't wait to hit the field with the new boys.
"We've got some big names here too with Sonny and Karks (Kahui) and Aaron Cruden. I'm definitely trying to step my game up this year, try and shine and put my name out there," he explained.
Nanai-Williams has the pace to play on the wing but his favourite position is fullback and after having to play second fiddle to former captain Mils Muliaina for a few years his main rival for the fullback jersey this season will be the versatile Robinson.
"There's been a lot of talk about where coaches want me to play. I really want to cement that spot as a fullback. So we've got Robbie Robinson in the team as a fullback, too. We are both fighting for that position, which is good," he said.
He admitted that filling Muliana's boots will not be an easy task as the All Black Test centurion is a bit of a legend in Waikato.
"It's not easy coming out of the shadow of Mils," he said.
"I definitely, really want to make that step and make that jersey proud. The things I've learnt off Mils in the past two years. I've really taken that on board," he explained.
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