New Blues coach Leon MacDonald has been exactly what the struggling side has needed ahead of the 2019 season, says winger Rieko Ioane.
Taking over from Tana Umaga, MacDonald will be hoping to bring instant success to the Blues, the same way he has with Tasman in the Mitre 10 Cup, and as an assistant coach to Scott Robertson with the Crusaders - with the Auckland side not having won a Super Rugby title since 2003.
Speaking to 1 NEWS today though, Ioane says that MacDonald's appointment has been the boost that the Blues needed ahead of the new season.
"It's been a breath of fresh air for the club," Ioane said.
"Coming from that Crusaders background, his playing expertise and that southern flavour that he brings to the Blues, it's the calming influence that we need.
"Not so much in the coaching group, but amongst the players. It's something that we look to.
"He's a very detailed man, he's very passionate about rugby. He knows the game well and he knows his stuff behind the computers.
"It's been a good, positive change, and he's fit in perfectly."
The Blues begin their new season against the Crusaders on February 16 at Eden Park.