North Otago bound Adyn Kapi with his three-year-old son Cassius Anguna. 21022227
Four local players will leave the country tomorrow to join school and senior rugby union teams in New Zealand.
Covid-19 hit Australia early last year, promising rugby union and league player
Adyn Kapi had to make some quick decisions.
existing underlying health issue, Kapi chose health over his promising rugby
league career on the Gold Coast for the Tweed Heads Seagulls – the feeder team
for the Gold Coast Titans who compete in the National Rugby League (NRL)
Rarotonga, he spent time participating in various sporting events including the
Cook Islands Games where he represented eventual winners Mauke, playing Sevens,
league 9’s and boxing.
certain that he would leave Rarotonga again at some point to pursue his rugby
dreams, with options to go back to Australia or potentially playing in New
opportunity came from Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) who are working with
North Otago Rugby Football Union to provide local players a chance to ply their
trade in New Zealand.
Kapi is one
of the four local players who will leave the country tomorrow to play rugby in
North Otago competition.
20-year-old, who plays for Avatiu Eels, and Matt Maui of Arorangi Bears will
join Waitaki Rugby Club while Alistair Newbigging and Olive Willie, both from
Tupapa Panthers, are joining Waitaki Boys High School.
development manager of Cook Islands Rugby Union, explained their partnership
with North Otago Rugby Football Union. “In 2019 and 2020 CIRU rugby scholarship
student Leonard ‘Lenny’ Varu attended St Kevin’s College in North Otago. In
2021, Lenny has been accepted into the North Otago Rugby Football Union
(“NORFU”) High Performance programme and he will also remain in NZ to do a
this year they have entered into a new and exciting agreement with North Otago
Rugby Football Union that will see four players play rugby in that region.
young boys will be hoping to do well in the classroom as well as improve the
Waitaki Boys High School XV results,” he said.
Rugby Club senior players will be hoping to push for selection into the NORFU
Heartland team – a seasonal contract that will run from March to November.
be an opportunity to setup a Cook Islands rugby ‘community’ in North Otago, to
enhance, grow and experience overseas rugby.”
excited with the opportunity.
dream come true really. I had some offers in Australia but I wasn’t too keen to
go back. New Zealand is perfect for me, it’s three hours flight from here and
it’s just like home for me. Also, I have three other boys from here so we can
give each other company and support,” Kapi, who plays blindside flanker or
number eight, said.
know much about the club I’m joining; I’m still trying to get more details but
I’m excited and looking forward to it.”
considers former All Blacks skipper Kieran Read as his idol, wants to play in
the Super Rugby competition in the near future. He eventually wants to become
an All Black.
“For that to
happen, the hard work starts now and I’m looking forward to the challenges
ahead. It’s not going to be easy but I will try my best for my family
especially my three-year-old son who I will miss dearly.”
Ben Koteka, Clive Nicholas, Darren Piri and his family for their support and guidance.
to the aspiring rugby players is “don’t get into drinking and smoking, there is
a lot of opportunity out there to achieve your goals. Work hard and stay