Costa brothers return to New Zealand
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.
The Costa brothers Nico, Ignacio and Rodrigo.