Prop Angus Ta'avao-Matau is making the most of his return to Super Rugby after becoming a regular front row starter for the Chiefs this season.
The 28-year old prop was let go by the Waratah's last year but was called into the Waikato-based franchise as a back-up player, before a series of injuries propelled him up the pecking order.
He learned his craft playing with the likes of Kevin Mealamu and Tony Woodcock at the Blues but is relishing developing his skills further with the Chiefs.
"It's great to be given the opportunity to work with guys like Nathan Harris and Kane Hames, but I'm also quite an experienced player, and I can give back as well."
The Chiefs faces the Queensland Reds on Saturday night and Ta'avao-Matau is looking forward to the challenge of marking Australian prop Taniela Tupou, who is better known as the Tongan Thor.
"He's a great young talent and has come a long way from Sacred Heart, where he was a highlight reel, but now he's putting out some really consistent performances," he said.
"You want to play against good opposition and test yourself, and the Reds have some quality players so it should be a good battle up front."
Coach Colin Cooper, meanwhile, is focusing on his side's execution this week after they blew several scoring chances in the 25-13 loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington last Friday.
A trip to Brisbane to face the Reds is a greater challenge than their recent form might suggest.
The 12th-placed Queenslanders have lost their last three games, conceding 107 points in the process.