Versatile frontrower in under-20s
Manawatu's latest New Zealand under-20 rugby player, Tim Cadwallader, can switch from prop to hooker at a moment's notice.
Throwing the ball into the lineout, such a mission for many hookers, doesn't bother Cadwallader in the slightest.
He has swung between all three frontrow positions since his three years in the Lindisfarne College first XV in Hastings.
A burly lad for a 19-year-old at 1.83m and 115kg, he was the only specialist tighthead prop picked in Chris Boyd's latest New Zealand team which was made public today.
They will play in the IRB world junior championships in Auckland in June.
Cadwallader came to Palmerston North last year to study sport and exercise science at Massey University, and was snapped up quickly by College Old Boys.
"Aaron Good was the coach last year, he gave me a phone call and brought me to College," said Cadwallader.
He had his heart set on learning the intricacies of coaching through Massey. Now his selection for the team which is New Zealand rugby's great stepping stone might elongate his study time for his degree.
"I was waiting on this team to make my decision. I definitely want to be a professional rugby player."
Yes, it appears he is one who has got away from Hawke's Bay and hasn't come through national age-grade teams like many of his new team-mates.
He comes from a family who farmed at Puketapu, 10 kilometres from Taradale, but they agreed agriculture wasn't for him.
Now he is a member of the Manawatu rugby academy and would happily pull on the Manawatu jersey if wanted, just as Nick Grogan did last year as a hooker-prop with the under-20 team to France.
"I wouldn't call myself a [Hawke's Bay] Magpie now," Cadwallader said. "This is my new home."
Last year he was player of the final when Manawatu won the Hurricanes under-20 competition.
It is not only his size which turns heads. He sports a profuse mullet haircut, almost part of a new expression after leaving Lindisfarne with its hair restrictions.
He trains five times a week but has thrived in the under-20 trials and camps, soaking up gems from scrum guru Mike Cron.
In the final trial on Monday, he played 60 minutes, two quarters at tighthead prop and one at hooker, and his lineout throws were on the button.
He feels he has to work on his scrum technique and work around the field.
"I've learnt so much by being in this environment.
"Now I want to make the starting XV for this team and after that knock on the door for the Turbos."
Among Super Rugby squad members in the team are Simon Hickey, Tevita Li, Anton Lienert-Brown and Mitchell Drummond.
- Manawatu Standard
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