Rugby Championship

Dagg relishing leadership role

2017-09-04 21:24
Israel Dagg (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Israel Dagg wants to lead by example through his actions as the All Blacks' most experienced backline player.

With Ben Smith taking a four-month sabbatical, 29-year-old Dagg finds himself in the unusual position of being the oldest among the All Blacks backs, a list that includes Damian McKenzie (22), Rieko Ioane (20) and Nehe Milner-Skudder (26).

And the opportunity to be a leader is one that Dagg is relishing but says his best way of doing so is through his performances on the pitch.

"I think for me it's not about the talking, it's more about the actions," Dagg told Stuff.

"I've just got to lead by my actions and if the young players can see that then hopefully that can be my certain way of leading."

Meanwhile, Dagg shed some light on his knee troubles, which is a problem he has had to carefully manage throughout the season.

"I've just got to maintain the body and look after it because otherwise if I don't I won't be able to train the next day," he explained.

"If I'm going to be completely honest, it hasn't been 100 per cent the whole year, but it is what it is. It's just a bit of bone bruising and meniscus cartilage damage.

"It's an old man syndrome."

And Dagg is aware that with Milner-Skudder returning and providing competition for the full-back berth, he will need to churn out the sort of consistent performances he has been delivering of late.

"For me, it's just working hard every day trying to get better and if I get that opportunity, just nailing Sunday to Friday and when it comes to Saturday just really getting out there and giving it my best shot. 

"But like I said, I'm just going to take each day as it comes and just work hard and try to get better."

Read more on:    all blacks  |  israel dagg  |  rugby
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