Tahuriorangi refreshed after extended All Black break

By James Perry

After an extended break, Te Toiroa Tahuriōrangi (Ngāti Pikiao) is happy to be back with the Chiefs and is looking ahead to a big season.

The new All Black arrived back at training last week, along with the rest of the ABs contingent, as they prepare for their Super Rugby opener next week against the Highlanders.

Tahuriōrangi is thankful for the extended break he was given as a member of the All Blacks team that toured Europe at the end of last season.

He went back home to Rotorua where he got to spend time with his family. 

"It's been a good break, it's been a long break," he says, "[I] enjoyed it, but it's time to do the mahi so I can get the treats."

One of those treats is the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.  However Tahuriōrangi is focused on doing all he can to help the 2012 and 2013 super rugby champions however he can. 

"If I'm starting it's just nailing my role there and if I'm coming off the bench it's nailing my role there," the Ngāti Pikiao halfback says, "But whatever the case is, it's just making sure I put the team first, and just doing my role for the team."

Tahuriōrangi made his All Black debut against Argentina in Nelson last year.  He isn't putting too much focus on staking a claim on a seat to Japan just yet. 

"Right now it's just getting my feet around and putting my feet down here at the Chiefs- and just having a good season here and taking every game and enjoying it."

He is hoping he can emulate the form that saw Steve Hansen name him in his squads in 2018. 

"It's what you do during the super rugby to try and get in that squad."

Tahuriorangi also found time during his break to sit with te reo tutors in an effort to learn to speak Māori.  He attempted this interview in te reo and is hopeful that he, and other members of the Chiefs, can one day do a complete interview in the language.

The Chiefs' super season begins on the 15th of this month, with Tahuriorangi hoping to be named in the first team.