“I didn't want to be taught by my Mum,” Tane Te Aho cheekily laughs when asked why he shifted from Hamilton to Wellington at the start of this year.
Tane’s parents are both lawyers and Mum is a lecturer in the subject at Waikato University.
“I was looking for a change of scenery. The law school in Wellington is really good and from a rugby perspective, it helped my cousin Rua Tipoki is at OBU,” Te Aho continued.
It’s taken more than family connections for Te Aho to earn his place in the WRFU Academy. Tane was the leading hooker at Hamilton Boys’ High School for the past two years.
In 2016, Hamilton won 19 out of 24 games and finished third in New Zealand. In 2017, Hamilton won 14 out of 19 games and narrowly lost the National Top Four final to Hastings Boys’ High School after sharing the Super 8 title.
Te Aho played 30 games for the First XV and was captain three times, earning his cap which requires 25 games.
“I loved Hamilton Boys.’ It was really intense and required a lot of discipline because we train eight times a week, but it really helped me grow as a player and a person,” Te Aho acclaims.
Te Aho’s growth was noticed by national selectors. In October, 2017, he was appointed captain of the New Zealand Barbarians Schools’ team who beat Tonga Schools’ (33-19) and the New Zealand Under-18 Maori (28-24) in two special fixtures in Palmerston North.
Since their inception in 2012, the Barbarians have only lost once and that was to the New Zealand Schools’ on a last play try in 2015. How disappointed was Tane to miss the top team especially given Hamilton Boys’ teammate Quinn Tupaea was appointed New Zealand Schools’ skipper?
“I was real happy for Quinn, but there is a moment when you miss the top team when your stomach sinks,” Te Aho responds.
You’ve got to put that behind you and move on though. I’m a competitive person and I believe I have a positive contribution to make to every team,” he further elaborated.
Te Aho is making a positive contribution for two teams at Old Boys University. He has been a regular starter for the Colts who have won both their matches in the John E Kelly Memorial Cup against Upper Hutt (39-15) and Hutt Old Boys Marist (19-10). OBU was second in the first round Les Mills Paris Memorial competition.
He has also featured in three wins for the OBU Premiers, scoring a try on debut against the Wellington Axemen. OBU was second in the Swindale Shield. What do both Billy Goats teams need to do to ensure they are top of the pile at the end of the second round in August?
“Treat each game like a final. You can’t underestimate anyone. The Prems beat Hutt Old Boys Marist who were at the top of the table by 40 points, a week later we only beat Parra-Plim who are near the bottom of the table by a try,” Te Aho answers.
Te Aho has been a Wellington Under-19 trialist and hopes to gain a place in the squad which will compete at the Nationals in Taupo in September.
Favourite Musician: Childish Gambino
Favoured Movie: Step Brothers Favourite Actor: Will Ferrell
Favourite Quote: Favourite Player: Codie Taylor, Finnbarr Kerr-Newell