Giant Highlanders lock Pari Pari Parkinson has been likened to a baby giraffe, with captain Ash Dixon preaching patience with a youngster he predicts will “be a force”.
The 23-year-old is an imposing 204cm tall and weighing in at 119kg, with Dixon saying the Tasman lock isn’t aware of how big or skilful he is.
“I guess I can kind of relate it to like a baby giraffe being born, just trying to get used to his body, trading on his,” Dixon said of the Māori All Blacks lock.
“He doesn’t know actually how big and how skilful he is.”
The Highlanders captain wasn’t sure if the giant, who is the nephew of Matua Parkinson, was a target for opposition teams.
“I wouldn’t know, cause I’m what, four foot? I don’t really have that challenge,” the self-deprecating hooker, who is 1.8m tall, said.
Dixon was predicting big things from the St Kents old boy, who moved to Tasman after school to join the Crusaders Academy.
“What we’ve given Baz is a bit of belief, a bit of structure around his life and his game, he’s come through pretty good at the moment,” he said.
“We’re just trying to unleash him and get him ready to fire, it’s going to take a while, we’ve got to be patient with him.”
“You can’t really create a big man like that you know, once he’s ready to go he’s going to be a force.”