Former All Blacks prop Ben Afeaki will return to Super Rugby as the Blues scrum coach after receiving a surprising a call from head coach Tana Umaga.
Afeaki retired from rugby in 2015 after a sickening head clash with Chiefs teammate Brodie Retallick in 2014.
The 29-year-old admitted he was taken back by Umaga's offer.
"I was a bit surprised," said Afeaki.
"I helped out with Harbour the last couple of years, previous to that I did the Harbour U19s as scrum coach."
The former Chiefs prop said he was happy to be around the sport as a mentor.
"I was doing it more for a bit of fun and really enjoyed it helping the boys out and watching the boys grow," he said.
"When Tana called up I was a bit shocked, I was pretty honest with him saying that 'I don't know if I'm up for it'".
After much thought about the offer from Umaga, Afeaki said he couldn't let the opportunity pass him by.
"I had a think about it and thought what a great opportunity."
He said he has been in talks with All Blacks scrummaging expert Mike Cron, who has been more than glad to give him a few pointers in his new role with the Auckland Super Rugby franchise.
"I've talked to him a number of times and he has been very supportive.
"I'm looking forward to it and it's cool to be involved again."
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