New Beginnings: Reihana and Aumua ready for fresh start

Levi Aumua

Given his background, it meant a lot to him, having taken his first steps in Super Rugby with the Chiefs.

"I was pretty keen to go up against the old crew, and I look forward to catching up after the game, but I can't wait to get stuck in.

"I'm going to be excited and nervous as well. I'm really just keen to get out on the field. All the stuff leading up to it is a bit more nerve-wracking than the actual playing."

Reihana, who plays his NPC rugby for Northland, said joining the Crusaders had been a period of growth for him, especially under the new coaches.

He knows there is no love lost between the sides, traditionally, but the Crusaders had always been the benchmark.

"It's a bit different being on the other side. We both know what time it is on Friday night. It's going to be fireworks and it's going to be all out war. So, I'm looking forward to it."

Fellow debutant centre Levi Aumua is equally excited. He said it had been a good pre-season with the side, something he hadn't experienced before.

The pre-season trip to Ireland and England was good for team bonding and understanding the Crusaders' ethos.

"The coaches have been really helpful; they're like teammates, so that creates a pretty tight feeling. Some of the activities we've been able to do, like rowing, have been nice.

"I've got all the resources here to improve my game and develop as a player on and off the field."

Aumua said he was pleased to get some time on the field on the northern tour and experience a different style of play.

He said his nerves were all over the place ahead of the Chiefs game.

"It's going to be a big game, it always is. They have got a great side even though they've lost a few of their experienced players."

Chiefs v Crusaders: Friday 23 February, 7.05pm NZT, FMG Stadium Waikato