All Blacks and Hurricanes winger Cory Jane has revealed that the Wellington based Super Rugby franchise have been on a grueling pre-season boot camp which included a punishing 12 hours of bonding and self-discovery dubbed "the longest day".
The Hurricanes boot camp started at Rugby League Park in Newtown at 9pm on Sunday when Army drill instructors began putting the players through a series of endurance tests.
Having ranged from Mt Victoria to Stokes Valley in the dark and rain the camp ended at 9am on Monday morning at Trentham Army Base with players' bodies and minds stretched beyond the limits of normal Super Rugby matches.
"The hardest thing was the army fellas were treating us like kids, yelling at us to keep us up, but I guess that's part of it," Jane told The Dominion Post.
"It was hard work but the boys stuck at it."
Former All Black and navy physical training instructor Buck Shelford applauded the Hurricanes squad for taking part in the slog session.
"The military boys are used to doing things the hard way whether it be navy, army or air force. "
"For the rugby boys to do something outside their comfort zone like this is really good because when the going gets tough in some of those big matches it doesn't come down to physicality, it comes down to how mentally tough they are."
Jane agreed with the former All Black captain,"This is all about mental toughness . . . it's just testing how strong your mind is. "
"The end of the game is where it really comes in - the last 10 to 20 minutes where the game's getting tough, things aren't going right, you look back at this kind of camp and think you keep sticking at it, keep working hard and don't give in."
When the players arrived back at the base they were asked to write an essay and Jane which Jane didn't take too seriously.
"That was an absolute joke because I was tired and I failed school for a reason. I got in there and I was losing the plot as soon as I found out we were going to have to do a 500-word essay," the Hurricanes wing said.
Jane's question was about moral courage but he was so tired that he didn't know what he was writing so he chose a topic closer he was more familiar with - his childhood dream of becoming Superman.
Jane's question was about moral courage but he was so spent he didn't even know what he was writing and ended up choosing a topic closer to his heart - his childhood dream of one day becoming Superman.
"It had nothing to do with the question, I just thought I'd better write something down on paper. I've heard that a few of the essays were good that the guys wrote - but mine was terrible," the All Black said.
The Hurricanes have now returned to more orthodox training and are preparing to face the Blues in Masterton on Saturday.