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Faumuina embracing Blues leadership role

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Sportal.co.nz     13 Feb 2013     Getty Images

With the accent going on youth throughout the squad as the franchise looks to work towards some of their former glories, Faumuina said it was already apparent to him that he needed to help the younger players, especially his fellow props, just as he had been helped earlier in his career.

"I'm looking forward the challenge. Obviously scrummaging is a big part of my game so just helping the boys to get the set piece right [is important]," he said.

By the same token the large number of younger players had lifted the excitement level and had made everyone want to go to training.

"I think the energy, the culture, in our team has lifted but it's hard to tell, it's a young team and we'll only find out when it comes to round one when we really get put under pressure

Faumuina took the step up into international class with his selection for the All Blacks and all the opportunities that provided to advance his knowledge in the company of some seasoned players.

"The experience, the intensity that the boys train with is one of the biggest things I will take back to my team [the Blues].

"When it's time to do a warm-up they go out and do a pretty decent warm-up before the trainer gets his hands onto them. Things like that were a massive step-up to Super and ITM [Rugby]."

There was a period of adjustment after his selection and he said it took two or three weeks to understand the approach of the more experienced players.

"Once I knew how to do things I was right into it," he said.

Faumuina said the experience on the northern hemisphere tour with the All Blacks had been an interesting one from a scrummaging point of view.

He felt the New Zealanders were more technical in their approach whereas the northern sides were more aggressive and would do anything to get their side [of the scrum] up.

The benefit he felt to his scrummaging was more fine tuning to his own approach.

"I think I had a general idea of how things worked. I think it was just the little details that guys like Mike Cron and, obviously, the senior props in the team just helping me out and making sure I had those things right," he said.