If you follow rugby, you should be familiar with the name. The squad center has been in peak form for the Hurricanes. The 24-year-old 5’10, 100 kg former Warriors Wing Center has been creating havoc.
Leading the Hurricanes to the club’s inaugural Super Rugby title. He’s built like a brick shithouse and power through contact with brutal running angels make him a game-changing center.
With the All Blacks squad facing the Lions on June 24th at Eden Park. Steve Hansen and his fellow selectors felt Laumape was a good fit and a potential point of difference in the All Blacks’ midfield and Hansen and co will back themselves to accelerate the player’s improvement over the next few weeks. According to Hansen, Laumape’s form meant he had to be included.
Even though being part of the All Blacks squad has been a goal for Laumape, he didn’t think he’d be selected. He didn’t even tune into the announcement. And even when a teammate burst into the locker room where Laumape was stretching, informing him of the news when it hit of his selection. Laumape brushed it off as a joke.
Only when told it wasn’t a joke. Did it hit Laumape. For three seasons playing for the rugby league side, Ngani Laumape had a simple dream. To be an All Black. All Blacks greats Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith were moving on. It was now or never.
“The longer you play the game, the more expectation goes on you, the more you try to become a perfect rugby player. The longer we can keep him just playing his game and not trying to do whatever everyone else thinks he should do, the better for us,”
Laumape’s Hurricanes and All Blacks team-mate TJ Perenara said.