Chiefs and All Black second-row Brodie Retallick says he feels refreshed and ready ahead of next month's Super Rugby kick-off.
The 22-year-old enjoyed something of a meteoric rise to fame in world rugby during 2013, after injury to Luke Romano handed him a chance to nail down one of his country's second-row spots during the Rugby Championship.
Retallick did so in emphatic fashion, forming a partnership with Sam Whitelock that is rightly rated among the very best lock duos in the game.
After a hard-earned break in the wake of a gruelling 2013, Retallick now states he is raring to go again.
"You're always looking forward to a break at the end of a big season," Retallick told stuff.co.nz.
"I had a bit of a holiday on the way home from the [All Blacks] tour and then just caught up with family and friends for Christmas and stuff and I've just been back in Hamilton relaxing and just making sure I've been getting the house nice and tidy before the busy times kick in again."
The hulking second-row acknowledges that, as defending champions for the second year running, other teams will have their sights trained on the Chiefs in 2014.
"It was a bit like that last year too," added Retallick.
"We got caught out a couple of times, especially against those Aussie teams, that we probably didn't prepare as well [as we should have for] and we can't just turn up and expect it to happen, we've got to put the hard work in."