Super Rugby Pacific: Blockbusting midfielder Levi Aumua settles into new surroundings at Crusaders

New Crusaders midfielder Levi Aumua has laid out exactly the sort of impact the defending champions can expect from him, as he prepares for his first hitout in red and black.

Aumua was one of the major offseason signings, revealing the difficulties he faced at Moana Pasifika over the last two years.

A quick look at Aumua reveals just why the Crusaders were so keen on landing his signature. Among his many attributes, one clearly stands out.

"Physicality is definitely one of mine," he said. "Anytime it comes to contact, I'm going to be the first there.

Levi Aumua in action for Moana Pasifika against Crusaders.
Levi Aumua in action for Moana Pasifika against Crusaders. Photo credit: Photosport

"This is my bread and butter."

Aumua showed the Crusaders firsthand last year just how destructive he can be. The defending champions will be breathing a sigh of relief he's now wearing their colours, and the excitement goes both ways.

"I didn't have to second-guess it," he said. "When they said they wanted some power through the midfield, I put my hand up."

Aumua was a clear standout in a rough introduction to Super Rugby for Moana Pasifika.

"The team was still trying to find its way," he said. "I had to put myself first and give my all for the team, regardless of the result, but it was hard mentally to stay in it."

Aumua is clearly making an impact already with his new side

"He's a special athlete," said former England halfback Willi Heinz. "You've got to have guys like that in your team that have that out-and-out x-factor."

While Aumua is a welcome addition to the Crusaders backline, there's just as much intrigue over who will fill the void left by Richie Mo'unga, but Heinz is quick to allay fears over replacing their star first-five.

"I go back to 2015, when Dan Carter, Colin Slade, Tom Taylor and Tyler Bleyendaal all left the club, and it was the same thing," he said.

"It was like, 'What are the Crusaders going to do now?' and along came this young kid called Richie Mo'unga."

Whoever the Crusaders settle on as Mo'unga's replacment will taking comfort knowing the power they're about to have outside them.