Crusaders wing Sevu Reece has spoken out about a tough 2020 that saw him lose his All Blacks starting spot and his subsequent mission to win it back.
In round one of Super Rugby, Reece was back to his scintillating best, playing a key hand in the defending champions' win over the Highlanders.
The 24-year-old is the first to admit that his form last year wasn't where it should've been and he hopes a change in mindset will lead him back to the heights of 2019.
"Last year was a slow start for me," Reece tells Newshub. "Over the summer pre-season, I just put all my goals in place and I wanted to start this year on a high."
The outside backs are among the more congested positions in the All Blacks and Jordie Barrett was the selectors' preferred option on the right wing last year.
Reece realises he needs to be as involved as possible from the outset to help reclaim his spot.
"It's just those little things that could separate myself from the other outside backs… that work rate," he says.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has already noticed that work-rate increase and admits 2020 was a reality check, after his dizzying ascent to the All Blacks World Cup squad the previous year.
"He's realised, first year - boom, it was all here for him," Robertson tells Newshub. "Second year, it was probably a bit tough.
"What is required now for him, he's touched on that and he's doing it consistently."
And Reece is more determined than ever to cement his spot as the country's premier right wing.
"Now it's just, every week, having to play to that standard or lifting it even more," Reece adds.
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