Blake Gibson relishing Blues leadership role

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Gibson, who has been named co-captain of the side with All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu, said Auckland's success in winning the Mitre 10 Cup this year had been backed by Northland and North Harbour each doing well, so they had the players in the squad and they were driven to succeed.

The confidence lift for the Auckland players from taking out the provincial title had been big, especially beating Canterbury in an extra-time final.

"The boys could take a lot of confidence out of that and we've got plenty of those boys in this team," he said.

The requirement for the players would be the same in Super Rugby as it had been for Auckland. It was about nailing their own game, all the one-percenters on and off the field that made a difference, but doing them over a complete Super Rugby season which was longer.

"We've got to be nailing that week in and week out," he said.

Gibson, who shot onto the scene when fresh out of the New Zealand Under-20 side, has been beset by injuries in recent seasons. He said his body was keen to get back out on the field, but he was still suffering some setbacks and it was a case of just getting out on the field and doing his rehabilitation. It was on track and he was looking good for pre-season rugby in January.

The new coaching transition had been seamless and each of the new coaches had taken control of their areas and for the players it was just a case of nailing what they were being told to do.

Gibson said it was a massive honour to be appointed co-captain, and he was excited to have the role. But he was just concentrating on getting his body ready for the campaign. There were plenty of good leaders in the group.

"We're working really hard on and off the field. We've got some mini teams that are creating a bit of edge each week and we're enjoying being here working hard. We're getting to know each other, we had a camp a couple of weeks ago and are just building those relationships," he said.