It's a new season and a fresh start for the Crusaders but fullback Israel Dagg is adamant the legacy of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter will live on.
Dagg turned back the clock at the New Zealand Super Rugby launch, starring alongside a dance troupe to show his footwork isn’t limited to the field, and he did his best to shake off concerns that the void of McCaw and Carter is too big to fill.
“You notice that presence not being there. They created a legacy for the Crusaders after winning three or four titles and all those finals,” he said.
“We’ve got an opportunity to start our own legacy now as this group and for us it’s about building on that and working hard together.”
Last season was one to forget for the 27-year old with multiple calf injuries ruining his Super Rugby campaign before he dislocated his shoulder for Hawke’s Bay in the Ranfurly Shield.
“It’s been a long couple of months but I’ve actually really enjoyed it as I’ve been able to get out and do some fishing and jet-boating as well as rehab,” he said.
“I’ve got the shoulder right now and I’m mentally right, so it’s been a positive to be honest.”
His task now is to lead the Crusaders' backline and then add to his 49 Test caps after missing the World Cup squad last year.
“I’d love to be there, I’d love to play in June and I’d love to play in the Rugby Championship,” he said.
“I’m only going to get there if I play well in the Crusaders jersey and for me I just want to get out there and start playing some footy.”