Mitre 10 Cup: Nehe Milner-Skudder on injuries, mental health struggles and rugby comeback

Former All Blacks winger Nehe Milner-Skudder has opened up about the past two years that have kept him off the rugby field.

Once the world rugby breakthrough player of the year... Milner-Skudder has battled injuries and mental health but now, he's fit and healthy ready to set his sights on a successful Mitre 10 Cup campaign. 

 "I can't change what's happened but I know that I've come out of it with a lot of experiences and learned a lot about myself," Milner-Skudder told Newshub. 

Having not played professional rugby since the All Blacks faced Japan two years ago, Milner-Skudder admits trying to come back mentally was harder than physically. 

"The challenges mentally are the ones you have to keep working on and working through," He told Newshub.

And thinking positively has been a big key, Milner-Skudder credits the people closest to him for sticking by his side. 

"My wife's been my rock, she's been there every day," He told Newshub.

 " [I've] got a supportive family, lots of friends checking, lucky enough to have a decent supportive network and it's got me through some tough times."

"What I've learned from my experiences is just to take it one day one week at a time and get through those and the rest of the stuff will fall into place from there." 

Through his tough times off the field, he realised, there's more to life than rugby.

"I think I sort of got caught up in wanting to focus all my time and energy in rugby but realising that you've got to have a pretty healthy body to do that," He told Newshub.

"The body will heal when it's ready, to be able to put things into perspective and be grateful for other things in my life, that helped me."

Now fully fit Milner-Skudder is ready to put the past behind him as he eyes up the Mitre 10 Cup with the Manawatu Turbos. 

"To get back, come through the last couple of years and  be in some decent knick and gearing up to play will be special."