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One step at a time for To'omaga-Allen

Measuring time and working his recovering knee back into the demands of Investec Super Rugby is the immediate focus for Hurricanes and All Blacks tighthead prop Jeff To'omaga-Allen.

Demonstrating a classical bent, To'omaga-Allen described his attitude to the necessary day-by-day approach as 'Rome wasn't built in a year'.

After tearing the meniscus in a knee last year he had surgery and it was now a case of building back up to the level that would allow him to make an 80-minute contribution to the table-topping Hurricanes.

"I have to adjust my programme every week. It doesn't heal overnight and it is a patience thing and a faith thing.

"I've been showing some good signs in the last few weeks," he said. "But I'm not back at full power yet."

He has been getting bit parts as a substitute for the side and that has been the encouragement in his rehabilitation process.

The setback had been a frustration but he said it had given him a fresh perspective on things.

Being able to share in the rejuvenation of the side had been helpful and like the rest of his team-mates, he was looking forward to Good Friday's clash with the Stormers.

"They will be feeling the effects of losing their last two games. They are always a physical team, even without Duane Vermeulen, but with him coming back we know they will be physical.

"Nothing will change in their approach and they will try to dominate and bully us in the forwards.

"We know it's coming and we have been preparing for that," he said.

Looking at why the Hurricanes have had such a marvellous start to the year to find some of the consistency that has been lacking in previous campaigns, To'omaga-Allen said not a lot had changed in their approach.

"We were building for a few years and the young guys who started out are getting older and more experienced and know what is expected of them now and are putting things in place.

"We've been really focusing on key areas, our defence and forward play. And we have depth in all positions now and the props are one example of that. Any one of us could start and we push each other hard for that role," he said.

By focusing on their set pieces they were finally providing the sort of quality ball to give their international quality backline the chance to make a lasting impact

The success and the ability to be so competitive had been a huge confidence boost for the team, especially after the hard start they had last year.

But he was mindful they couldn't get ahead of themselves.

"With confidence can come complacency, but it has been good making history within our club," he said.

While not required this weekend, the signs are that To'omaga-Allen will not be too far away from making a more lasting impact for the side and working his way back through to the national ranks.