Rieko Ioane was all smiles at Blues training ahead of this Friday's Super Rugby curtain-raiser against the Chiefs having enjoyed, in his opinion, one of his best off-seasons in years.
Despite talk of moving to the midfield for the Blues this season, Ioane will don the familiar No.11 jersey at Eden Park on Friday night - a jersey that should feel a little looser after losing weight since last year's Rugby World Cup.
"I'm actually the lightest I've been for a while," Ioane told reporters today.
"This time around, I thought I'd try something a bit different and see how I feel being a bit lighter and I feel good - the fitness is up there, the speed is up there so feeling really good."
Ioane said last year he was playing at approximately 106kg and now he was down to "103 or 102" which he said although small, makes a difference.
"I don't feel too much different but I can get around easier. Hopefully we'll see it on Friday."
Ioane said he didn't make any drastic changes such as "vegan diets" in the off-season to make the adjustments but instead focused on finding a balance between work and leisure.
"It was the best off-season I've had in a while," he said.
"I just think I got the balance of having a decent break and doing a bit of training. I knew that I wanted to be at this strength and fitness at this point, now, so I put in the work.
"But I also enjoyed the break with family and friends."
Ioane has plenty to prove heading into the season after a severe slump in form saw him fall out of favour with All Blacks selectors prior to the World Cup, leaving him watching from the sidelines as rookies George Bridge and Sevu Reece became the go-to wingers.