Blues back Piri Weepu has returned to pre-season training over 10kg lighter than in 2012 and is fit and raring to go ahead of the Super Rugby campaign.
His franchise revealed Weepu's hugely improved skin fold measurements and in training footage, Weepu cut a lean figure as he got stuck into some conditioning games in the sweltering heat.
"I thought I should keep up with things this year and try and make sure I start a lot better than how I was shape-wise last year," he told the Blues website.
"I've been trying to run the roads and run up some mountains and do anything I can that's cardio along with a little bit of weights in between spending some quality time with my family."
Weepu, whose weight issues last year following the World Cup win were well documented in the media, has been working hard in the off-season.
"I'd like to say I'm in pretty good nick," he said.
"I'm probably around the same as I was on the end of year tour last year so I've been trying to keep everything down and make sure that my numbers are right this time around. I'm pretty excited about it because I'm not as heavy as I was last year when I first came into camp so it's pretty good."
Meanwhile, Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan was thrilled to see his world-class half-back return in great shape but was eager to put the tedious story to rest ahead of Super Rugby.
"He doesn't have to be here firstly which is fantastic and this story is officially dead - he is fit, he is well and he is raring to go," Kirwan said.
"He's come back in and his body weight is good and his skin folds are good. He's not ready to play yet but he's been on holiday and he's done a fantastic job so we're excited to see him.
"It's good to have him in here training with the boys so it's a done deal, talk about something else please."