Tilsley eyes trip to Glas­gow

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ge­orge Tilsley is a bit of a no­mad when it comes to rugby.

The speedy Tawa winger is back for an ex­tended run with the pre­mier club side af­ter miss­ing se­lec­tion in the last two legs of New Zealand’s tilt at an­other sev­ens world se­ries ti­tle.

This year he played in the Las Ve­gas, Welling­ton, Ja­pan and Hong Kong tour­na­ments.

It’s not hard to guess which tour­na­ment he loved most.

‘‘Play­ing in front of my home crowd and fam­ily and friends in Welling­ton was in­cred­i­ble; it put all the oth­ers to sleep.

‘‘Hong Kong was pretty awe­some, but ev­ery­one wants to play here.’’

Tilsley, 22, lives in Palmer­ston North and trains at the In­ter­na­tional Rugby Academy there. He has a full sev­ens con­tract and com­mutes to Welling­ton three times a week for Tawa’s train­ing and games.

That, plus the over­seas travel with the sev­ens, is not easy be­cause he has a 17-month-old daugh­ter.

‘‘It’s a chal­lenge, that’s for sure, but I’m ful­fill­ing a dream to play rugby pro­fes­sion­ally.

‘‘I’m hav­ing fun and do­ing what I love and it’s a priv­i­lege.

‘‘I just need to stay pos­i­tive and keep work­ing hard, and hope that things come my way.’’

His im­me­di­ate goal is to make the sev­ens squad for the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow in July. The fight for po­si­tions would be tough at the train­ing camp in June, he said.

In the medium term, Tilsley is aim­ing for an ITM Cup con­tract with Welling­ton.

He has played at that level for Manawatu but sees him­self in a Lions jersey.

Welling­ton coach Chris Boyd was his coach at Tawa Col­lege and Tilsley said he felt loy­alty with the Tawa club.

‘‘Af­ter train­ing with the sev­ens, I feel I’m fit and fresh to play 15s and want to help the [Tawa] boys where I can.

‘‘I’m stoked to get my blazer for 30 games [against Up­per Hutt on Satur­day] and al­though I wasn’t part of the run to the two ti­tles last year, it’s a club I’ve been in­volved with since I was 17.

‘‘It’s al­ways awe­some to be back here.’’

Photo: GETTY

Fly­ing winger: Tawa and New Zealand sev­ens rep Ge­orge Tilsley in ac­tion in the Tokyo leg of the IRB sev­ens world se­ries in March.

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