Rivers close to league star’s heart


Nelson Asofa-Solomona grew up in the Hutt Val­ley. It’s a place that re­mains close to his heart de­spite hav­ing flown the coop to Aus­tralia where he was a mem­ber of the Mel­bourne Storm team which won the 2017 NRL Grand Fi­nal.

He is back in New Zealand with the Ki­wis as they strive to win the Rugby League World Cup with a quar­ter­fi­nal clash against Fiji at Welling­ton Re­gional Sta­dium this week­end.

What do you miss most about Welling­ton when you are away?

First of all, I re­ally miss my fam­ily but I also miss the rivers in Welling­ton which I re­ally like. I’m go­ing to do a few bombs with the boys when I’m back in Welling­ton, maybe at a place in Up­per Hutt called The Tablet, which is part of the Hutt River.

What’s your favourite pub­lic space?

In Welling­ton City, it would be Ori­en­tal Bay beach.

Where do you go for a night out?

I haven’t been back since I left school when I was too young to go out night­club­bing. But I do like the Cossie [Up­per Hutt Cosmopolitan] Club in Up­per Hutt.

Where do you take out-of- town­ers when they’re visit­ing?

I’d get them to come to my house for a BBQ. We have a place with a mas­sive deck, so they could come over for a feed with my fam­ily.

De­scribe your Satur­day/Sun­day? per­fect

I’d go to the Hutt River in Maorib­ank and Ori­en­tal Bay beach, and then go back to school to see peo­ple I haven’t seen in a while. That is im­por­tant to me, see­ing peo­ple who have had a mas­sive in­flu­ence on me.

Best pick for a cheap and cheer­ful meal?

When I was at Welling­ton Col­lege, there was a McDon­alds by the Basin Re­serve. If there was a spe­cial on, the boys would be there.

What’s your favourite neigh­bour­hood haunt?

I used to skate when I was a lit­tle lighter, and I used to go to the skatepark – Maid­stone Max. My par­ents used to spend a lot of money on skate­boards and stuff like that. It was a big part of my life.

What’s your favourite shop?

There was a ke­bab shop on the main drag of Up­per Hutt – I’ve for­got­ten the name and they’ll hate me for that – where I used to get rice and mixed meat. It was my go-to for sure.


Nelson Asofa-Solomona is in New Zealand with the Ki­wis as they strive to win the Rugby League World Cup.

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