Super signing excites Squire
There were times last year when Liam Squire must have wondered where his rugby career was headed after suffering a season-ending broken ankle in a local club match.
However, Squire's career path has just moved more clearly into focus following his signing, at the weekend, with the Chiefs for next year's Super 15 competition.
After having also recovered from a fractured spine three years ago and severe thumb ligament damage earlier this club season, the dynamic loose forward's bad luck is hopefully behind him as he now looks set to reap the benefits of his immense talent.
The Chiefs weren't the only franchise after 22-year-old Squire's signature. He'd previously turned down an offer from the Perth-based Western Force outfit, opting instead to join his Tasman team-mate and former Crusaders player Tom Marshall in Hamilton next season.
"I was definitely considering going over [to Perth], but I decided to stay," said Squire.
There's been plenty to like about Squire's on-field efforts for Tasman this season. He's been one of their stand-out performers and considering his relative youth, his formidable 1.96m and 113kg frame and ample speed, there are potentially even bigger rewards ahead.
But while delighted about the prospect of playing Super 15 rugby next year, he was determined not to get ahead of himself as the Makos contemplate the remainder of their ITM Cup season.
"I'm excited, but I'm just trying to focus on the rest of this ITM Cup campaign and do my best there," he said.
He's been satisfied with his form and confident that his match fitness was "definitely improving each week". And there have been no lingering after-effects from any of his previous injuries.
He's earned a rest for Tasman's seventh-round match against Northland in Whangarei tomorrow and will start off the bench. He's still craving some action and determined that Tasman don't lose any ground after last Sunday's tough 18-9 win over Hawke's Bay.
Squire played a key role in the win, including a spectacular second half try - his third of the season - when he out-stripped Hawkes Bay's fullback Trinity Spooner-Neera in a frantic sprint for the ball.
"The boys are excited about the [Northland] challenge. None of the games are easy so we're definitely not going to be taking them lightly, that's for sure."
The Nelson Mail