'It is going to be a step up' - talented Auckland back Tanielu Tele'a swaps Manu Samoa jersey for Baby Blacks

Talented midfielder and winger Tanielu Tele'a has switched allegiances, swapping the blue Manu Samoa jersey for a Baby Blacks one after being selected for the national squad.

Tele'a is set to don on the black jersey at the World Rugby Championship in France, which kick off in two weeks.

The 19-year-old is still pinching himself, playing alongside the likes of Super Rugby Blues star Caleb Clarke and All Blacks Sevens livewire Vilimoni Koroi.

"Try to keep to myself, but yeah, just like watching those fellas (Clarke and Koroi) train and stuff like that, it lets me know that you're close - you know playing with big names," said Tele'a.

"It's a huge honour and I won't be taking that for granted."

He knows the WRC stage can be a platform to show off his talents, after Wellington hooker Asafo Aumua exploded onto the world rugby scene and went onto play a Test for the All Blacks in the northern hemisphere tour last year.

"Just shows you what our opportunity is, don't be complacent because if you can get it right good things can happen.

"Just got to stick to what my parents said 'keep my head down and work hard', and definitely might get an opportunity one day."

Tele'a was instrumental for the New Zealand side's Oceania Rugby Championship campaign, scoring tries against Fiji and Tonga, with his team going on to win the title by defeating Australia 43-28 earlier this month.

"I think we can take confidence out of that, but at the same time we know it is going to be a step up."

Since making the team Tele'a has had family members and friends congratulate him on his selection while also cheekily asking about donating some of his playing gear.

"There is a little request here and there, not too much, they are good to me. They're really proud of me and (tell me) keep going because they think this could be just the start for me.

He captained the St Kents 1st XV in 2016 and played alongside All Blacks Sevens youngster Etene Nanai-Seturo.

St Kents centre and captain Tanielu Tele’a breaks away. Saint Kentigern College v Kings College. First XV Rugby Union. Saturday 2 July 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Tanielu Tele’a. Source: Photosport

"Along the way I met people like Etene and other mean players so going there (St Kents) was a huge blessing as well, and it's done me well," he said.

"Coming through with those fellas, having my name in the hat sort of thing, it's pretty cool."

Professional rugby is in the back of the mind of the youngster but for now, he is looking to enjoy his footy.

"That's not really the focus right now for me. Just right now is to have fun and enjoy what I do and the rest will take care of itself."

The blockbusting midfielder has a backup plan in mind if playing rugby as a career doesn't pan out.

Tanielu Telea of the Blues scores a try in the match between the Rebels and the Blues during the Global Tens Tournament at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia on February 10, 2018. Photo : Tertius Pickard / www.photosport.nz
Tanielu Tele'a. Source: Photosport

"I was studying at AUT (Auckland University of Technology) recently, communications or something around media or sports journalism or something like that, something similar to the role you are doing right now bro."

Auckland's Tanielu Tele'a scores a try as he is tackled by Waikato's Liam Coombes-Fabling during the Jock Hobbs Memorial trophy final rugby match between the Auckland and Waikato at Owen Delany Park in Taupo on Saturday the 16th September 2017. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz
Auckland's Tanielu Tele'a scores a try as he is tackled by Waikato's Liam Coombes-Fabling during the Jock Hobbs Memorial trophy final rugby match between the Auckland and Waikato at Owen Delany Park in Taupo. Source: Photosport

He was part of the Blues' Brisbane Tens side that took out the competition earlier in the year, and the Auckland U19 team that won the Jock Hobbs national tournament in Taupo.

The New Zealand team are to meet at Mount Maunganui to train as a squad tomorrow before flying out for France next Thursday.

The 19-year-old represented Samoa last year at the World Rugby Championship U20s tournament in Georgia. Source: 1 NEWS



Sydney rugby club investigate after player with Kiwi heritage racially abused

Sydney University Football Club are reportedly investigating an incident of alleged racism aimed at a player of New Zealand heritage last Saturday.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the incident took place in a Shute Shield match between Sydney University, and the Manly Marlins, with Manly forward Brad Hemopo allegedly abused by a spectator in his warm up.

The two clubs will work together in order to pinpoint the identity of the spectator, with the alleged abuse understood to have left Hemopo deeply distressed.

"If we find out who it is, they'll be banned from coming to our games ... that's not welcome," a SUFC spokesperson said.

"The club has been working with match-day officials, both clubs together, security and ground staff to try and investigate who it was.

"We take these situations seriously and that behaviour is not welcome."
 

Source: Getty


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TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Super Rugby Round 14 picks: 'I think the Highlanders could spank the Waratahs' - Sav and Stephen reunited in the tipping hot seat

The NZ streak is on the line twice this week and another local derby nears as well - plenty of action for the TVNZ crew to ponder!

How it works: TVNZ sports buffs will chip in their picks for matches involving New Zealand sides each round with some adding a little insight into their thinking. A correct result will give them two points and a correct margin a bonus point!

ROUND 14

Hurricanes v Reds
Blues v Crusaders
Waratahs v Highlanders
Sharks v Chiefs

Matt Hall-Smith - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 13+ - "Sorry Chiefs, but way too many injuries and rested All Blacks. This is a Sharks side who thrashed the Highlanders two weeks back!"

Guy Heveldt - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12
Waratahs v Highlanders: Waratahs 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12

Brodyn Knuckey - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12 - "Highlanders aren't taking this lightly knowing that first half performance from the 'Tahs could come around again. Full strength squad should be too much for NSW."
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 1-12

Faleatua Malili - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Blues 1-12
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 1-12

John McKenzie - 1 NEWS Reporter

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 13+

Michelle Prendiville - 1 NEWS Sport Producer

Hurricanes v Reds
Blues v Crusaders
Waratahs v Highlanders
Sharks v Chiefs

Josh Reich - 1 NEWS NOW Homepage Editor

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 1-12

Andrew Saville - 1 NEWS Sport Presenter

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+ -"One way traffic."
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12 - "The Southerners need a win to stay in touch. 'Tahs last week were an aberration."
Sharks v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12 - "With all their big guns missing, my head says Sharks, but I have an inkling some of the Chiefs "part timers" will be well up for it."

Tamati Rimene-Sproat - Seven Sharp Reporter 

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+ - "Go long Canes!"
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12

Stephen Stuart - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+ - "Ho hum. I'll be watching the Warriors."
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+ - "The Crusaders might trail early but as the Blues bench brings no impact, the end result looks oh too predictable."
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 1-12 - "With so many players missing this week, I don’t think the Chiefs mana will be enough to get them home."

Victor Waters - Breakfast Sport Producer - LEADER

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Sharks 1-12

Abby Wilson - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Reds: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+
Waratahs v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Sharks v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12

Scoreboard: Waters 91, Rimene-Sproat 90, Saville 86, Malili 83, Heveldt 80, Knuckey 77, Reich 76, Stuart 76, Wilson 74, Prendiville 69, Hall-Smith 66, McKenzie 63

1 NEWS Sport's experts break down this week's action. Source: 1 NEWS


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