Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick has hailed the return of co-captain and teammate Sam Cane, after a broken neck suffered in South Africa last year.
Out of action for seven months after fracturing a vertebra in South Africa last year, Cane's return has coincided with an upturn in form for the Chiefs, mathematically still in with a chance at making the Super Rugby playoffs, needing a win over the Rebels this weekend to all but be guaranteed a finals spot.
Speaking at Chiefs training this afternoon, Cane's return earned rave reviews from Retallick, with the pair to share captaincy duties this weekend.
"He's been massive the last couple of games - especially against the Crusaders," Retallick said.
"[For] someone with an injury like that to come back and be as physical, and put in his head, win the turnovers like he did last week, it's a huge effort not only physically, but mentally.
"He's been great in the last few weeks he's been back."
Retallick also said that he's prepared to leave the captain's role to Cane against the Rebels, content with his on field leadership role as it is.
"I think I'll leave it to Sam. It plays with my head a little bit when I was captain, a little bit more to think about.
"I like to keep it simple, I'll leave that stuff to Sam."