New Cane Proctor plans to quit bread run

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 02/11/2012
Matt Proctor
KENT BLECHYNDEN/FAIRFAX NZ
MATT PROCTOR: "I had a missed call from Alama [Hurricanes backs coach Alama Ieremia] ... so I rang him back and he just said ‘congratulations, you’re a Hurricane'."

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The "bread run" precluded Matt Proctor from being at the Hurricanes' team naming on Wednesday.

One of eight first-time Hurricanes included in the Super Rugby franchise's 32-man squad, the 20-year-old Wellington and Oriental-Rongotai wing had been up all night working for his father, Phil.

But now that he's cracked the professional rugby ranks, he does not plan too many more 1am-till-9am shifts delivering bread to the city's supermarkets.

"Nah, one of my brothers can do that," Proctor said yesterday.

Phil Proctor was a New Zealand Junior representative in 1984 and went on to play tighthead prop for Wellington from 1985 till 1995. Matt, like brothers James and Billy, is very much a back and was too young to remember any of his father's exploits at Athletic Park.

But he did take great delight in the fact that his father was the person standing by his side when he learned of his selection in the Hurricanes, on Tuesday.

"I'd just got home and I had a missed call from Alama [Hurricanes backs coach Alama Ieremia] and he left a message to say ring back. So I rang him back and he just said ‘Congratulations, you're a Hurricane'."

Proctor's still coming to terms with it all. This year's goal had been to make the New Zealand under-20 team, which he did, and then hope for a game or two for Wellington. The idea of being a Hurricane seemed fanciful.

"When I go into camp, hopefully it will sink in. I keep thinking about rubbing shoulders with all the All Blacks and stuff that are there," he said.

Having only turned 20 last week, and with just 11 games for Wellington behind him, Proctor knows next year's Super Rugby campaign will be a learning one for him. All the same, he doesn't plan to turn up to training just to grab a few autographs.

"It will be hard to push for a spot in my position, when there's already two of probably the best wings in the world [in Cory Jane and Julian Savea]," he said.

"But if I can keep improving, and there's injuries and what-not, anything could happen."

Not a lot was expected of Proctor when Wellington's just-completed season began. Known to be a fast-emerging talent, next year probably loomed as the one in which he might make his name.

But with Wellington playing the type of rugby that suits wings, and plenty of fellow Ories club-mates in the squad, Proctor felt right at home. Along with Julian and Ardie Savea, Mark Reddish and Matu Matu'u, Proctor will be one of five Ories players at the Hurricanes, while Ma'a Nonu is playing for the Highlanders.

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His father, Phil, is the premier coach there, but his son reckoned it was a coincidence that the club now boasts so many Super Rugby players.

"It's just a good club," he said.

"I'm proud for all those guys and it will be good for me to go into that [Hurricanes] environment with boys that I know.

- The Dominion Post

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