Crusaders centre Robbie Fruean believes 2012 could finally be the year that he earns himself a coveted All Blacks call-up, having come agonisingly close in the past.
The 23-year-old was toted for a first international call-up last season after his eye-catching combination with Sonny Bill Williams during the Super Rugby season.
However, former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry decided that Fruean's work-rate still required work before he would be ready for the international stage.
The former IRB World Under-19 Player of the Year played for the Barbarians against the Wallabies, as their uncapped player, at the end of last year - which has fuelled his international ambitions.
Fruean has been putting in the some extra training ahead of the new season, so that he can hit the ground running when Super Rugby returns.
"Even if it's going for a bike or going for a walk - and I'm trying to make sure I'm eating well, eating enough, eating sufficiently, and just really focusing on recovering well," he told the Christchurch Star.
"I've got a lot of support crew that continue to help me that come along and do it with me, teammates and friends and family.
He admitted not having Williams or his "aura" would be an adjustment, but said Ryan Crotty was able to complement his blockbusting style.
"He's got a different style and game and I think it's probably going to bring the best out of both of us," he said. "And we've both got aspirations to be in the All Black squad, and obviously we'll be driving a lot together in terms of really helping each other out."
"And when I came back and saw the guys working hard, it inspired me to get out there. And once I got out there, the Super Rugby season couldn't come too soon."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.