Cel­e­brat­ing Tas­man’s awe­some four­some

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - MAR­TYN VERCOE

It was a proud day for the top of the south re­gion last Sun­day when the All Blacks were named for the June test matches against France.

Four Tas­man Mako re­ceived a call-up, a phe­nom­e­nal ef­fort con­sid­er­ing our first Mako All Black was only a cou­ple of sea­sons ago.

It means we have seen six Tas­man play­ers in the ABs in the past two sea­sons with Tim Perry, Liam Squire, Jor­dan Tau­fua and Shan­non Frizell be­ing named in the team on Sun­day while David Hav­ili and Kane Hames donned the black jer­sey last sea­son Mako in 2017. He has ex­celled at all lev­els of the game in New Zealand for a long time and his se­lec­tion is just re­ward.

Liam Squire has been an es­tab­lished All Black for the best part of three sea­sons. He has been a Mako since 2012 and con­tin­ues to make every post a win­ner in his ca­reer.

Shan­non Frizell was the bolter in the lat­est All Black squad. He is a qui­etly spo­ken young man who gets his talk­ing done where it should be, on the footy field.

Frizell is an ath­letic freak, great with ball in hand and amaz­ing in the air. He may be a sur­prise se­lec­tion to some but I’m sure he will do a great job in the black jer­sey.

Frizell’s back­ground is an in­ter­est­ing one. The brother of Tyson who plays Rugby League for New South Wales and Aus­tralia, he has come through Tas­man’s Academy sys­tem af­ter be­ing picked up from Tonga via Auck­land as a young player with big po­ten­tial.

The se­lec­tion of four Mako All Blacks proves there is a path­way for young peo­ple in our re­gion to get to the top of their pro­fes­sion.

Hav­ing four All Blacks from the top of the south is some­thing spe­cial and it should all make us proud. I can’t wait to see them all take on France in June.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen poses with the new caps Jor­dan Tau­fua, left, Te Toiroa Tahu­ri­o­rangi and Shan­non Frizell.

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