Hurricanes full-back Nehe Milner-Skudder has given special praise to the ITM Cup competition ahead of his breakthrough year of Super Rugby.
The electric runner, who starred for Manawatu in 2014, is set to feature heavily this campaign in Wellington as one of their new breed of players.
But before he joins the big time of Super Rugby, Milner-Skudder knows he has plenty to thank the Turbos for after a highly impressive term in New Zealand.
“The whole team played well and it is pretty easy when the team goes well,” he told superrugby.co.nz ahead of a warm-up game against the Blues on Friday.
Milner-Skudder was involved with the ‘Canes wider training group last year and while he didn’t gain a regular spot, he learned a lot from his time with the squad.
“The wider training group experience was helpful for me in kicking off a pretty good ITM season last year and it does help to have that when you are leading into another campaign,” he said.
“Manawatu are good fellows. We’ve got quite a few older fellows who lead, and show the way. They’re pretty good at trying to follow guys who have been there and done that.
“We’ve got a few seasoned campaigners and we try to follow what they’ve been doing when they come back to the side.”
On this season, he added: “Just getting out on the field is the first goal. Getting a taste of it last year made me a lot hungrier. It’s a good environment and with a backline full of All Blacks – what better backline would you like to play in?
“There’re a lot of guys to learn off and it will definitely help my game.
“I’m learning truckloads. Ma’a’s been there since the start of pre-season and he’s been awesome with all the young guys and really helping out at training.
“I won’t get too far ahead of myself. I’ll get through this season first and try and get out on the field and put some good performances together and take it from there.”