It may be a World Cup year, but Damian McKenzie has no intention of limiting his playing time with the Chiefs more than he has to.
While All Blacks are still required to observe two stand-down weeks during the Super Rugby season, many have thought they would be wrapped in cotton wool to avoid the possibility of picking up an injury.
McKenzie, who missed the Chiefs opening round loss against the Highlanders with an ankle injury, said watching from the sidelines was no fun and he'd be doing everything he could to stay on the field.
"You'd rather be out there on the field. Watching from the stands is pretty tough," McKenzie said.
"It's totally up to how I'm feeling and with our medical staff, and it's obviously a big year…but I'm solely focused on this franchise here at the Chiefs and I'll be doing everything I can to be playing each week.
"If I have to sit out due to an issue I'll have to do that, but hopefully I can keep rolling through and keep trying to go out there and play good rugby."
It was a feeling shared by Hurricanes No10 Beauden Barrett, who returned to camp this week after having time away for his honeymoon. Barrett could line up for the Hurricanes this weekend for their match against the Crusaders, though he admitted he was still pretty fresh, and was eager to help the Hurricanes build on their winning start to the year.
"As players we're solely focused on the Super Rugby season," he told Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave.
Like Barrett, McKenzie was hopeful of a return this week, with the 23-year-old expected to be named in the Chiefs side to face the Brumbies in Canberra. He would likely replace Orbyn Leger in the No10 jersey.
Leger surprised many after being thrust into first five-eighth as a result of the Chiefs' injury toll, with McKenzie, Marty McKenzie, Jack Debreczeni and Tiaan Falcon all unavailable. Falcon will remain sidelined for the remained of the season, with Stephen Donald joining the squad for the season as his replacement.
"It's inspiring having Beaver back still running around. Having his knowledge especially in a backline where we're quite inexperienced and quite young, but obviously we've got a lot of talent there so it's nice to have him back and he's looking older each day with that new haircut he's got."