Coles selection a victory for perserverance

Last updated 17:10 29/10/2012
Dane Coles
Getty Images
Dane Coles

Related Links

Hansen defends Williams' selection Troubled first five earns Maori call up Andy Ellis' All Blacks exclusion hard to fathom Kerr-Barlow fulfills dream

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Lions coach Warren Gatland sweating on fitness of halfback Conor Murray Tug of war to ensue between All Blacks and Wallabies for Rebels prop Tyrel Lomax - report Wellington Sevens' future to be decided at World Rugby meeting in Tokyo next month Marc Hinton: Jerome Kaino's knee surgery has potential to blindside All Blacks All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino to undergo surgery - in doubt for Lions tour History shows All Blacks must seriously consider Jordie Barrett for first Lions test Mark Reason: 'Despair and anger to grip NZ' after Lions' series win Sonny Bill Williams looks to have inside running for All Blacks spot 'Richie would always look at me like 'nah, nah, nah' when asked to lead AB haka: Piri Weepu Former All Blacks have their say on who will win the British and Irish Lions series

Dane Coles says his on and off field battles helped him find the consistency that earned him an All Blacks call up.

The 25-year-old Wellington hooker was one of two new caps along with Waikato halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow in the 32-man end of year tour squad named today.

His selection is a victory for perseverance coming five years after his provincial debut and after three long seasons in the shadow of All Black incumbent Andrew Hore at the Hurricanes.

‘‘It’s a pretty emotional time,’’ he said of hearing his name read out by New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Mike Eagle.

‘‘I’m just happy and humble. I was stunned. I was in another world. It took me a couple of minutes to pull myself together then I got another couple of phone calls. I was pretty happy.’’

Parents Steve and Sonya were in Australia visiting Coles’ uncle, but were quickly on the phone to congratulate their son and a visit from Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett soon followed.

It hasn’t always been such plain sailing for the dynamic Paraparaumu-born and raised rake.

He faced a few battles after moving to Wellington to play club rugby for Marist St Pats, then Poneke.

In his debut season for the Hurricanes in 2009 Coles was in the news after pleading guilty to disorderly behaviour after abusing and manhandling police following a drunken scuffle.

There had also been previous convictions for fighting in public and drunk driving, prompting the New Zealand Rugby Union to suspend him for one match and fine him $1000.

‘‘I was just a young fella from the Kapiti Coast and I wasn’t really used to the lime light,’’ he said.

‘‘I think I’ve just matured a bit and know the consequences now if you are in the public you have to be a bit careful with your actions.

‘‘That was a hard lesson, my name got dragged through the papers a lot and it hurt my parents as well. I never want to do something like that again to harm my family.’’

Today he made them proud.

Coles has been picked mainly for his dynamic play around the field, but put his selection, ahead of Hawke’s Bay’s Hika Elliot, down to his improved lineout throwing and scrummaging, and to getting regular game time.

Ad Feedback

Several years behind Hore had been frustrating, but made him work harder before his breakout season this year.

‘‘It’s made me a little bit stronger, a little bit hungrier to realise my dream,’’ Coles said.

‘‘There was a massive opportunity for a hooker to step up. I wanted to make that my goal and I did that. If you are staring in the No 2 spot you can play consistent rugby.’’

He feels as though he knows what to expect as an All Black after spending time in the camp earlier this year.

‘‘It was just the attention to detail. They are perfectionists. Obviously I’ll have a lot of info chucked at me because they’ve been together all year. I just have to do my homework and make sure I know my roles.’’

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content