Reds chasing positive start in Dunedin

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Monday, February 18, 2019    Getty Images

And they are leaving no stone unturned and will be arriving in Dunedin on Tuesday to prepare for the game.

Fullback Bryce Hegarty, who joined the side from the Waratahs, told it was great they were getting to Dunedin early and the time difference was the biggest reason they had done that.

"So getting there as a group and being really tight is a positive and we'll have only each other for the next four days.

"It's our opportunity to start the season how we want to start.

"Pre-season there's always a lot of talk about what's going to happen and you can't really comment until you've played a competition game.

"We've really circled this game as a huge game for us, and it's certainly a game we want to get off on the right foot and progress our season well," he said.

While there had been talk about the potential in the Reds side, Hegarty said the players were keen to turn around the sort of play which had seen them going hard but still losing games that were there for the taking.

"Everyone challenges each other every day and are picking each other up on little things at training, so it's a real team effort amongst everyone to improve," he said.

Starting a week later than all other sides was not necessarily a negative, especially with Wallabies arriving late to the squad and players like himself and Seva Naivalu still settling into the side.

I think [the bye] was good for us to be honest," Hegarty said.

"Everyone has their bye and, yeah, it was round one for us but at least we can build on ourselves now.

"We got more work done, which was good and focused on a few things that we wanted to fix up from the trial, so we've done plenty of good training and hopefully we can put that into practice in this weekend's game."

One of Hegarty's roles will be to provide young first five-eighths Hamish Stewart with suitable support.

"Hamish is really eager to keep bettering himself every week and I think that's the most impressive thing about this group. Everyone really wants to get better every single day and every time they train.

"I think that's one of the things I've most enjoyed since I've been here and it certainly pushes me to prove myself every single day and get the most out of it that I can," he said.