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February 12, 2013
New Zealand's Victor Vito enjoys his late call-up to the squad, All Blacks training session, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand, August 11, 2011
All Blacks flanker Victor Vito and senior Hurricanes members are getting behind the young chargers. © Getty Images
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The Hurricanes are encouraging younger players to develop leadership roles within the franchise, after increased input sparked the team's revival in fortunes in 2012, Victor Vito says.

Mark Hammett's side endured a disastrous Super Rugby campaign in his first season as coach, in 2011, but the players showed steely resolve in 2012 only to miss the play-offs by just two points.

"We've cultivated a lot of young guys to become leaders," Vito said.

"It's something that we can pride ourselves on at the Hurricanes. When young guys come in, they normally come in quite shy; they don't want to say anything. They don't want to say anything; even if they have a good point, they probably won't [speak up]."

Vito, an All Blacks flanker, said the younger players were encouraged to become more vocal in 2012 "because of where we were, in a rebuilding stage".

"I think everyone had a voice and everyone was heard," he said. "As a young guy, it'll always be quite comforting going into a game knowing you've always been heard. Although things might not go your way, it doesn't matter as long as you're heard."

The success last season, Vito said, ensured that he and a number of other senior players were continuing to get behind the young chargers.

"I'm in my fifth season now and there are a lot of young guys that are in their first or second season in the forward pack," he said.

"In saying that, we've still got guys like Jeremy Thrush, Dane Coles and Jason Eaton so we've still got some pretty experienced guys out there. At the end of the day, a few of us definitely have to be taking on that leadership rein...at the end of the day it comes down to each individual player."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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