Jarrad Hoeata intends to use his experience to lead from the front during Friday's Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Ospreys.
The three-times capped All Black recalled his younger days, where he was given the opportunity to play alongside and learn from experienced New Zealand internationals.
He hopes to have a lead by a similar example during Friday’s derby clash, where youngsters such as Shane Lewis-Hughes, James Sheekey and Brad Thyer will join him in the pack.
“I remember when I was younger, some of the All Blacks legends like Andrew Mehrtens and Reuben Thorne would come down to play with some of us,” said Hoeata.
“They really led by example, didn’t take a backward step and led from the front and that’s what I intend to do.
“There’s a really good vibe around the camp. The youngsters are given a chance to shine and show what they’ve got.
“It’s good to be back this week to help out some of the young boys, and hopefully we can put the Exeter result to bed.”
Hoeata is also excited at the prospect of playing another derby match, and hopes to restore pride following early season derby losses in the Guinness PRO12.
“Derbies, no matter where you play them, are always massive occasions and the boys are really up for this game.
“We lost two derbies game, which was a huge disappointment because we put a lot of focus on those, but to bounce back with a huge win against Treviso in our last Guinness PRO12 match was something we needed.”