Deaf black dreams come true
Two Tokoroarugby players have been selected to join the Deaf Blacks in a test against Argentina.
Tama Albert, 26, and Kamau Wise, 27, were told the good news at a recent tournament held in Auckland and left with the rest of the team on Tuesday.
Communicating with the help of a sign language interpreter Maria Albert, Wise and Albert said they had been selected for the Deaf Blacks before.
But previous tours were cancelled so the pair never got the chance to represent their country.
Albert said they had only played against the Australians before so the tour to Argentina would be a good experience.
A winning performance during the Easter tournament in Auckland put them on the selectors’ radar.
The pair were on opposite sides during the playoffs.
Albert, who plays with the Northern Marlins, came head to head with Wise who still plays for the Central Stags in Wellington.
Wise moved to Tokoroa in 2015 and currently plays for the local rugby league club, Forestland Falcons.
Being deaf has its advantage said Albert, who also plays for the same team.
The pair use hand signals to communicate and lip reading.
‘‘We use our eyes and always looking around. We do the moves and focus.
‘‘The deaf are more focused because there’s a difference between us and hearing.
‘‘There’s all sorts of noise and that can put you off but with us it’s silent and we’re more focussed on the moves and players.’’ Tama Albert
‘‘There’s all sorts of noise and that can put you off but with us it’s silent and we’re more focussed on the moves and players.’’ He said playing with deaf rugby players was a faster game. ‘‘You do one move and everyone picks it up and straight into it. ‘‘Your ears will be your eyes.’’ The team will play three tests which is a first for the NZ Deaf Blacks. ‘‘It’s a mean experience to travel the world doing what we love,’’ said Albert.
Wise was born deaf but it didn’t put him off playing the sport he loves and at 5 he started playing rugby in Napier.
Albert recently had the bag he had his hearing aides in stolen while he was on a rugby tournament and he hasn’t been able to replace them due to the cost.
But it won’t stop him going on tour.
Tama Albert and Kamau Wise will represent New Zealand in the Deaf Blacks first test against Argentina.