After a frustrating debut season last year, Blues halfback Bryn Hall is primed and ready to make the most of his opportunities in 2014.
A broken jaw followed by glandular fever saw the 22-year-old play just one game in 2013 as he was sidelined for most of the campaign.
However ever the optimist, Hall is always one to look at the positives and believes his time away from the rugby field has him reading into the 2014 campaign in peak shape.
“I’ve been pretty lucky so far to not have had many injuries in my career but having two major setbacks last year was pretty frustrating,” Hall said.
“In hindsight looking at it now, I had a lot of time outside of rugby, being able to do my studies and not putting my whole focus on rugby so it freshened me up heading into this year. Hopefully this year I can just stay injury free and be able to put a couple more caps under my belt.”
Indeed Hall made the most of his lengthy spell on the sidelines and returned to feature prominently for North Harbour in the ITM Cup, taking on board a lot of the work-ons he had been given from the Blues coaches.
With both his passing and running games really developing, Hall is ready to hit his straps when the season commences in just two weeks.
Not only that but Hall managed to put on five kilos in the off-season while still maintaining his speed and fitness levels.†
Awarded the trainer of the week for last week after consistently pushing himself and achieving the highest yoyo score of 21, Hall was thankful his hard work was beginning to pay off.
“With all that time off I was given plenty of work-ons and I was pretty fortunate to get a bit of game time with Harbour and I was able to implement the work-ons that I was told by the coaches.
“Also being able to put on a bit of weight through the off-season has really helped me in contact. They wanted me to concentrate on that and I was pretty fortunate that I was able to put on some size so hopefully it puts me in good stead for the season.”
Hall said his goals for the season were to stay injury free and make the most of any opportunities he is given.
“I’m working really, really hard and if I do get the opportunity to play rugby I’m going to try and take it.
“Piri’s there and he’s really helped me improve my game and Jamo (Jamison Gibson-Park) is there as well. He’s had an excellent campaign with the Maoris and Taranaki so I just want to work hard and if I do get that opportunity, I take my chance.”
With Piri Weepu coming back from injury and Jamison Gibson-Park currently sidelined with a stress fracture, it has given Hall a great opportunity to feature heavily in the pre-season matches and push his case for inclusion in the squad to take on the Highlanders on February 22.
“When I was young my dream was to be the number nine for the Blues. There’s a lot of hard work and a lot of great players in front of me but it also helps with us being able to push each other. We all want that starting spot so I think it’s really good having that competitive edge.”
The Blues face the Chiefs in their final pre-season hit-out in Rotorua on Friday evening (kick-off 6pm).