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Vito: Hurricanes revival driven by player input

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Sportal.co.nz     13 Feb 2013     Getty Images

After a disastrous Investec Super Rugby campaign in his first season as coach in 2011, Mark Hammett's side showed steely resolve only to narrowly miss the playoffs of last year's competition.

Vito, who described himself as a "koro" of the side having played five seasons, said there was one factor that aided the Wellington franchise's crusade last season.

"We've cultivated a lot of young guys to become leaders themselves. It's something that we can pride ourselves on at the Hurricanes," said Vito.

"When young guys come in they normally come in quite shy – they don't want to say anything.

"They don't want to say anything – even if they have a good point, they probably won't. Because of where we were, in a rebuilding stage, I think everyone had a voice and everyone was heard.

"As a young guy, it'll always be quite comforting going into a game knowing you've always been heard. Although things might not go your way it doesn't matter as long as you're heard."

Vito and a number of other senior Hurricanes members are getting behind the young chargers, a number of whom feature in the fowards.

"I'm in my fifth season now and there are a lot of young guys that are in their first or second season in the forward pack.

"In saying that, we've still got guys like Jeremy Thrush, Dane Coles and Jason Eaton so we've still got some pretty experienced guys out there.

"At the end of the day, a few of us definitely have to be taking on that leadership rein...at the end of the day it comes down to each individual player."

While traditionally the high number of All Blacks coming from the franchise has meant players have had to fill in and sink or swim, Vito is adamant the Hurricanes will be ready for their first match of the season against the Blues at Westpac Stadium on February 23.

Until then, the pre-season matches are something the franchise is using to test combinations and ensure the cobwebs are blown out.