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Debreczeni keen to take his chance with Chiefs

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    13 Feb 2019     Getty Images

Debreczeni said he made the shift to Northland, he has New Zealand heritage through his mother, because he felt his time in Australia was done. He had stagnated as a result of his own doing so it was time for a change.

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"I thought it was the right time to have a crack in New Zealand.

"I think I was just a bit too inconsistent.

"I was up and down a lot of times at the Rebels and it probably didn't help that we went through a lot of change over multiple years and I just didn't adapt to that well and that brought along inconsistent performances," he told rugby.com.au.

While he realised Damian McKenzie was the first option at first five-eighths with the Chiefs, he knew there would be opportunities through the season due to the rest requirements for All Blacks. And he wasn't looking to revive prospects for an international career himself.

"I'm just trying to make the Chiefs XV. I've got to make it for the Chiefs first and then those questions [about Test rugby] can come.

"For the moment for me, it's just focusing on making that XV," he said.

Debreczeni said he had only come to New Zealand because his uncle had been doing the groundwork in contacting Mitre 10 Cup sides and Northland had taken him on.
"I didn't have any contracts, I wasn't in any talks with any Super Rugby clubs in New Zealand, so I just went over open-minded to anything that came along

"I was fortunate enough to get the Chiefs to come along with [an offer] and I was excited to join them," he said.

Debreczeni said the change of environment had produced a sense of freedom for him and getting involved in the rugby culture and training had challenged his skill set.

"They just see the game a bit different, the way they train is different to how we train in Australia," he said.

"Heading over there, there were no expectations of me, no one really knew how I'd go being an Australian in a New Zealand comp.

"Not many guys go that way, so there were no expectations and it was a bit freeing.

"And then joining a new environment – I'd been at the Rebels for five years and I'd got accustomed to everyone at the place – so going to Northland was fresh, it was sort of like the first day at school again and you had to be on your best behaviour and be on your toes," he said.

Having experienced a season of Mitre 10 Cup play, Debreczeni said Australia needed to put work into growing its own third tier competition in order to develop depth in its game.