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OFF TO A FLYING START

6 June 2022
singapore sevens
Caleb Tangitau has made a strong early impression with the All Blacks Sevens.

There is nothing more spectacular in sevens rugby than watching a player outwit and bamboozle the best defences with blinding pace. That’s what gets the fans out of their seats on the sideline and captivates television audiences. Pure speed on a sevens field creates the adrenaline surge that makes live sport such a memorable experience.

The truly fast men like Carlin Isles and Perry Baker (USA), Alasio Naduva (Fiji), Trae Williams (Australia) and Ireland’s Jordan Conroy are box office gold in sevens. All Blacks Sevens teams over the years have enjoyed more success than any other nation but, despite producing outstanding finishers, have rarely had out-and-out speed to match that elite group. But now they do in Caleb Tangitau. The 19-year-old has made quite an impact in scoring 10 tries from his opening two HSBC World Series tournaments held in Singapore and Vancouver in April. Tangitau impressed with his raw speed and smart finishing ability, plus a relaxed on-field outlook for such an inexperienced player at this level.

His natural talent still needs some fine-tuning, as he continues his sevens education under the expert tutelage of head coach Clark Laidlaw, but the potential for future greatness is there. Tangitau rates all the tries he has scored in his short sevens career so far but one of the two standout efforts he scored against England in Singapore is definitely his best because he was up against one of his childhood heroes. “When I went round Dan Norton and scored, that is my favourite try. Growing up I watched sevens a lot. My dad played for Tonga at two World Series and we used to always watch it together,” says Tangitau....

Continue this story in our June 22 issue – on shelves now!

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