Chiefs scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow is looking forward to the battle for his team's number nine jersey after returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.
Kerr-Barlow, who was sidelined for nine months with a knee injury, returned in time to assist the All Blacks during last year's triumphant Rugby World Cup campaign.
The 25-year-old has no problem battling it out with scrum-half rivals Brad Weber and Augustine Pulu for game time at the Chiefs, and knows that coach Dave Rennie opts for form over reputation.
"Competition is really healthy and I'm really looking forward to battling it out over the season," Kerr-Barlow told NZ Newswire.
"That's how a team should be picked. I can only control my performance on the field and everything else will fall into place.
"It's a good opportunity for people coming in to try and stamp their mark also, giving our club a fresh start."
Kerr-Barlow isn't worried about his knee and is brimming with confidence.
"I'm feeling really confident on it now," he added.
"I still have to do all my rehab and stretching. That's going to be part of it for the rest of my career."
Kerr-Barlow has made 20 appearances for the All Blacks and played 56 times for the Chiefs,winning two Super Rugby titles since making his debut in 2011.