Cape Times

Laumape is an ‘absolute wrecking ball’, says Milner-Skudder

- Greg Stutchbury

WELLINGTON: Uncapped centre Ngani Laumape has given Steve Hansen a reminder of his attacking abilities as the All Blacks coach looks to replace the injured Ryan Crotty for Saturday’s second Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Crotty pulled his hamstring in the 30-15 first Test win over the Lions in Auckland last weekend and Anton Lienert-Brown is expected to partner Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield in Wellington.

Laumape, however, could earn a spot on the bench after he finished a brilliant move by the Wellington Hurricanes in their 31-31 draw with the Lions on Tuesday, smashing Lions flyhalf Dan Biggar out of the way to score.

“He was an absolute wrecking ball,” Hurricanes winger Nehe Milner-Skudder told reporters.

“It’s pretty easy when you’ve got a guy like him hitting off that first receiver and gets the boys great go forward.

“You can see a lot of confidence that he’s come back with from being away with the All Blacks and I’m just excited to be outside a guy like him that he’ll create a lot of opportunit­ies.”

It was Laumape’s ability to create opportunit­ies for the Hurricanes, who top Super Rugby this season with 85 tries, that elevated him into the All Blacks squad.

Laumape is in just his second year back in Super Rugby after spending three seasons playing in the National Rugby League (NRL).

“He was a great schoolboy footballer ... and got lured to the dark side and played in the NRL,” Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said.

“But his childhood dream was always to be an All Black and so we had an opportunit­y to contract him. – Reuters

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NGANI LAUMAPE: Makes it ‘pretty easy’
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