Taukei'aho called up to make All Blacks debut after injury

Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho is set to make his All Blacks debut tomorrow night on his home ground in Hamilton after an injury to Dane Coles.

Samisoni Taukei’aho. Source: Photosport

Coles was named on the bench for tomorrow's clash with Fiji but the All Blacks announced today he has been scratched due to a calf injury, making way for Taukei'aho.

Taukei'aho was called into the All Blacks earlier this month as injury cover for Asafo Aumua, who was ruled out of last week's Test in Dunedin after developing concussion symptoms picked up in the Tonga Test the week prior.

The 23-year-old has been training with the All Blacks since but wasn't required last week with Codie Taylor starting in the No.2 jersey and Coles coming off the bench to score four tries in the 57-23 win.

Dane Coles scored a record-breaking four tries against Fiji in Dunedin. Source: Photosport

Taukei'aho's rise in New Zealand's rugby ranks comes after he was scouted while captaining the Tonga under-15s side when they toured Aotearoa, leading to an international scholarship to Hamilton's St Paul's Collegiate.

Since then, the Tonga-born hooker has gone on to represent New Zealand at schoolboy level and has earned 49 games for the Chiefs since making his Super Rugby debut in 2017.

Taukei'aho had a chance to represent Tonga at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan but declined the 'Ikali Tahi offer.

Coles will have three weeks to recover before the All Blacks' next Test, which is the Bledisloe Cup opener against the Wallabies at Eden Park on August 7.