Blues hooker Mealamu draws on experience

Last updated 05:00 06/07/2014
Keven Mealamu
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THE ILLUSTRATOR: Keven Mealamu will work on some more childrens' books soon.

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Super Rugby

Super Rugby will miss All Blacks for first round Dave Rennie on the hunt for another halfback Chiefs snap up Bryce Heem and Sean Polwart Move to Taranaki pays off for Iopu-Aso Chiefs add two forwards to Super Rugby squad Chiefs grab Seta Tamanivalu, Mitchell Graham Kiwi talent features in new-look Samoan squad Graham returning to Chiefs as props recruited David Hill recruited to coach the Blues' backs Blues hire former All Black as backs coach

You played your 150th game for the Blues last night, can you remember all of them?

Not every one, but obviously there are some standout memories in there. If l look back, the general view I have is that I've always enjoyed playing for this franchise, and I've been pretty proud to represent this city.

If you had to pick one standout game, what would it be?

It would have to be at Eden Park in 2003 for the Super Rugby final. That was something that really stood out for me, because we were able to go all of the way that year and it was great to be a part of it.

You made your debut in Super Rugby for the Chiefs, though, and you were born in Tokoroa, so do you have a soft spot for them, or did that disappear a long time ago?

I'll tell you, when I was there I gave them everything that I could offer, but all my family are up here now. I'm definitely a Blues man . . . I really enjoyed my time down there but nothing beats playing for the team you love, and that's the Blues for me.

One of the most memorable images of you is when Brendan Cannon punched you square in the face when you were playing for the All Blacks against the Wallabies. Who has landed the biggest punch on you ever?

I'd have to say that one, because it was the cleanest. It was smack right in front of me when it landed, so that stands out the most for me. But it's probably the ones you don't see cause the most damage, when you don't see it coming.

Have you done any more illustrating on children's books recently?

We're just about to start on our new book very soon. We're just about to select a few winners of short stories and I think in a couple of weeks we'll be back into the illustrations. I'm looking forward to it. It's a busy time, but it's something I really love doing.

You are 35 now, can you keep going as long as Brad Thorn?

Whatever jersey I'm playing in, I'll give it 100 per cent. I'd love to be able to play for as long as Brad, but this is me, Keven Mealamu, and I'll play for as long as I can, and always give it everything I've got.

Who would win a fight between a tiger and a lion?

I'd have to say a lion, because he'd probably have a pride with him to help him out if he got in trouble?

Who's the scariest coach when they're angry - John Kirwan, Graham Henry or Steve Hansen?

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Oh that's a tough one, they all have their different ways. They're always straight to the point and all of them are pretty fearsome, and you don't want to catch any of them on a bad day.

If you could be a professional athlete in any sport other than rugby, what would you chose?

I would love to play basketball if I was a bit taller, but it would be awesome to play in the NFL also. They're two sports I really love to watch, and I'm continually amazed by the skill the top players in those sports have.

When you get old would you rather go grey or bald?

My dad goes cleanshaven, but I think I might be a silver fox.

Have you ever read your Wikipedia page?

No, the kids might have a few times, because they've done a few studies. But myself, I've never gone on my Wikipedia page just to check it out.

Well, the biggest section on your page is under the headline "Controversies".

Oh, wow, is it? I think I'd better have a look.

- Sunday News

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