Cory Jane is back, and everyone at the Hurricanes knows it.
It is nearly 10 years to the day since he played the first of his 110 games for the Hurricanes and the 33-year-old (34 next week) outside back was his usual annoying, frisky self after an off-season at Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus. He was dissing skipper Dane Coles, among others.
Jane regaled the media today with tales of his language and geographical issues in Japan, not to mention his inability to keep his apartment or washing clean due to the prolonged absence of his wife Amie, who travelled over from New Zealand with his children later in the season. Jane looks like a man who is injury-free and unconcerned about having to crack the All Blacks, having closed that particular chapter of his career.
"The rugby was the hardest part of it, but the food and the culture was cool... no one cares about you over there. You could walk around nude and no one would care. I didn't try that, though," says New Zealand rugby's court jester, warming to his work. He may be able to help the Hurricanes in tricky restaurant situations when they travel to Tokyo for their first competition game in three weeks.
"The All Blacks are gone. I just want to enjoy myself. It could be my last year, who knows? I'll see how the body goes. I still like to compete, though, I hate losing," he says, adding that he still likes to keep the youngsters on their toes with some eye-catching sprint times.
Jane is keen to have a run at the Brisbane 10s on February 11-12. He's never played 10s before and is looking forward to trying it out.
"I don't know what to expect, but I'm looking forward to some good weather, because we've had none here. It's been horrible!"
Jane will be amongst some useful Hurricanes' outside back talent, which features Ben Lam, Wes Goosen, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea, and the young Peter Umaga-Jensen.
"He walked through the front door downstairs and I was upstairs and I heard him. He tracked me down pretty quickly to make all the changes he wanted to in defence, so I had to tell him to calm down," joked Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree.
Jane will probably have a run in Saturday's hitout against the Blues at Alexandra Park, though the Hurricanes' current All Blacks, who were back on deck this week, will not be involved until at least the final practice game before the Sunwolves game on February 25.