Tamati Tua returns to Super Rugby after a cameo appearance three years ago and he can't wait to get a decent run for the Blues this time around.
The 24-year-old Northland centre is one of two new Taniwha players named by New Zealand franchises for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign that gets underway in February.
Tua made just one appearance for the Blues in 2018 when he came off the bench against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Northland players already contracted to the Blues for 2022 are Josh Goodhue, Sam Nock, and Tom Robinson.
Jack Goodhue is contracted to the Crusaders while Scott Gregory will continue with the Highlanders after making his debut for the franchise last year. He'll be joined by another Northland player in Sam Caird next season.
Caird was part of the Blues squad last year but did not play before moving across the ditch to the New South Wales Waratahs where he played 10 games.
The Blues have described next season's squad as a "mix of proven performers and passionate potential" comprising 12 All Blacks past and present, and 10 internationals.
Tua will compete with the likes of league convert Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, All Black Rieko Ioane, Tanielu Tele'a and Corey Evans for midfield positions and he's determined to get decent game time.
"That's the goal ... don't want to be sitting on the bench or not be in the starting 23. There are heaps of All Blacks and a few young guys so it's looking pretty good."
Injury has been his Achilles heel the past two seasons and Tua is keeping his fingers crossed he stays match-fit.
He said the inclusion of Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua would add more flair to the competition.
Super Rugby is returning to Northland after more than a decade, with Whangārei scheduled to host the Blues v Rebels match on March 5.
The Blues will defend the Transtasman trophy they won this year and head coach Leon MacDonald is determined it won't be their last.
"Our key learning is that if we put in the mahi every week, every day and every session, and we do our homework and prepare well, then we can get the rewards,'' MacDonald said.
"We can take real confidence from the Transtasman title but, at the same time, we realise this is a new competition and we all start on zero points.
"I am confident we have a team with a good mix of internationals and young guys. Titles aren't the target every week – they are a consequence of us striving to improve in every aspect of our game and producing a level of rugby that we are proud of. It is going to be a hell of a ride.''