Former All Black Zac Guildford has been forced into a senior role for the first time in young career.
Guildford missed the cut for the Rugby Championship and is playing for Hawke's Bay in the ITM Cup.
He says he's having to contribute more on and off the field with the Magpies this season.
"Especially coming back to Hawke's Bay I think I'm the fourth most capped player, so I guess it's not something that I'm used to, I'm used to having leaders around me like Richie (McCaw) and Dan (Carter) and those guys but it's something that is a new challenge to me and something that I'm embracing."
Guildford was overlooked for the Rugby Championship and he says all he wants to do now is enjoy his rugby and get back to the things that work for him.
"I just need to concentrate on what I can do for Hawke's Bay and play well. I'm not going to think too much about what the selectors want me to do and don't want me to do, I just have to go out there and stick to my strengths and hopefully that'll get me back in the team."
Meanwhile, he's confirmed both he and his good mate Israel Dagg will be playing at the Crusaders next season.
There had been reports that Dagg was planning a move, but Guildford says they've both signed to play in Christchurch.
Hawke's Bay face Wellington in then capital tonight.