Costa brothers re­turn to New Zealand

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - HUGH COLLINS

For the Costa Brothers play­ing rugby to­gether in New Zealand has taken prece­dence over pro­fes­sional over­seas con­tracts.

Nico, Ig­na­cio and Ro­drigo Costa joined the Eden premier rugby side in May af­ter the three spent a sea­son play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally in Europe.

Ro­drigo, 24, and Ig­na­cio, 22, played with north­ern Italy’s San Dona Di Pi­ave Rugby and Nico, 21, was with Spain’s Getxo Rugby.

Born in Ar­gentina, the brother’s first mi­grated to New Zealand in 2002.

De­spite hav­ing great ex­pe­ri­ences in the north­ern hemi­sphere, the idea of play­ing on the same field in New Zealand was big­ger than any­thing else, Ro­drigo says.

‘‘When you’re on the field to­gether there’s a greater sense of pride, when there’s two of you or three of you, it makes the game so much more mean­ing­ful.’’

While the trio say they like to com­pete against each other, play­ing to­gether has al­ways made them more driven to win.

‘‘There’s noth­ing quite like it, only talk­ing to other brothers who have played to­gether can sort of re­late to it…it’s one of the great­est feel­ings re­ally,’’ Ro­drigo says.

Nico and Ig­na­cio both play at half­back and first-five while Ro­drigo purely plays at No 10.

They say play­ing in Europe gave them a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the stan­dard of New Zealand rugby.

‘‘In Spain it was great trav­el­ling and see­ing dif­fer­ent stuff but it’s the rugby you miss too much af­ter a while,’’ Nico says.

‘‘You see that in New Zealand there’s noth­ing quite like it and in the end that’s why I came back and ap­pre­ci­ate it in a dif­fer­ent way,’’ Ro­drigo says.

‘‘You see it in Su­per Rugby and the last World Cup, it’s still a long way ahead from the rest of the world.’’

De­spite Ar­gentina be­ing a foot­ball mad coun­try, it was rugby the boys were drawn to as chil­dren.

‘‘Dur­ing the week we all played soc­cer all the time but rugby was this new cool thing when I was 7 years old and my best mates played, and I’ve been in love with it ever since,’’ Ro­drigo says.

The boys are a part of the wider Auck­land Mitre 10 Cup train­ing squad.

On the week­end Eden beat Waitakere 24-12 away.

They face Mt Welling­ton at home this Sat­ur­day in the Por­tola Tro­phy semi-fi­nal.

PHOTO: HUGH COLLINS

The Costa brothers Nico, Ig­na­cio and Ro­drigo.

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