After a few years with Melbourne Storm, Matt Duffie slipped back into rugby union last year and is looking to kick on with Auckland Blues so he answered some questions for us...
How would you judge your first Super Rugby season?
Obviously it got off to a horrible start down in Christchurch in round two, but I was stoked Tana (Umaga) gave me a chance to bounce back from that later in the season. All in all, I think it was a pass mark but only just - definitely feel I have a lot more to offer.
Were there any specific aspects of your game that you've focused hard on in the off-season to improve?
My overall game sense was something I have put a lot of emphasis on, having only just come back into the sport that was always going to take time. I have also worked a lot on my passing.
Do you have a preferred position in rugby union?
I think the wing really suits my skill set, but happy to play wherever the team needs.
Who are some youngins at the Blues who we should watch our for?
TJ Faiane is coming back from a long lay off with injury and I’m really looking forward to watching him - he has great vision for the game on both sides of the ball.
What were some key positives from your provincial campaign with North Harbour?
Playing big minutes at fullback at the start of the season was great for my confidence. Putting that aside I really enjoyed the group of players we had, it was a fun campaign with a really young group and obviously success is always enjoyable.
Having come through the Melbourne Storm system, what are some lessons or memories from being with the Storm that you still apply to your career or life today?
General competitiveness and a desire to succeed are some things I learned from the Melbourne that I still live by today. Also, daily physical preparation is a must for me.
What are some training skills/drills that you ensure that you do every session?
Passing, such an important part of the game. I practice high-balls three times per week as well.
How do you juggle trying to bulk up while also maintaining speed and agility?
Early in my career I focused a lot on gaining weight and it didn’t really work for me. Now I just try to stay feeling healthy and work on my strength, power and speed in the gym which helps me play my best football.
What's your favourite meal to eat inside the rugby season?
Eggs and Avocado
What's your favourite meal to eat away from rugby?
What is the best advice your have received?
If you’re not willing to work hard, don’t bother coming. - the late Darren Bell, recruitment manager at Melbourne Storm when I went there.
Do you have any goals for 2017 - if so what are some of them?
Only my cat knows them.