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'I back him one hundred per cent' – Akira Ioane describes relationship with superstar brother Rieko

Auckland and Blues number eight Akira Ioane has described his relationship with younger brother Rieko, saying that he's nothing but happy for the young star's success.

Despite coming through the New Zealand Sevens and into Super Rugby at the same time, the Ioane brothers have had contrasting fortunes in terms of the black jersey.

Younger brother Rieko has played 24-Tests since his debut in 2016, cementing his spot as the first choice on the left wing.

On the other hand, Akira is being made to wait for his debut, with the current dearth of loose forward talent seeing him stuck in a very long queue.

Speaking to TVNZ's Marae though, the older Ioane brother said that he holds no ill-will towards his younger counterpart.

"People love comparing me to Rieks, or Rieks to me," he said.

"They always ask me the question 'How is it that your younger brother is in the ABs, and you're not?'"

"It's hard to not swear at them," he joked.

"I'm happy for Rieks."

Akira also points out that there's no point in comparing the two, with their respective skillsets and positional abilities hard to quantify in relation to each other.

"He's a winger, a back. For a forward it's hard.

"It's also hard being behind the captain of the ABs to him as well. I just don't like it when they compare me to him when we're playing totally different positions.

"He's done well and I'm proud of him. I back him one hundred per cent, but I wouldn't let anything get in the way of us two.

"That's the same with him, he's proud of me."

The two brothers have had contrasting rugby careers so far. Source: Marae


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