Naholo basks in 7s success

19:34, May 17 2012
tdn naholo stand
Waisake Naholo has had a successful stint with the New Zealand sevens team, helping them win the world series.

World champion at under-20 level one year, world champion sevens player the next.

Time keeps bringing success for wing Waisake Naholo who returned to New Plymouth yesterday less than a week after helping New Zealand pick up the IRB World Sevens Series Cup at Twickenham.

Naholo, who celebrated his 21st birthday last week, was one of three Taranaki men involved in New Zealand's success.

Kylem O'Donnell played in several tournaments, including the series finale in London, while Clark Laidlaw ended his second year as the squad's skills coach.

"It's been real fun, a good experience," Naholo said.

"I've learnt a fair bit, learning all the time and I think I'm getting a lot more self confident."


Laidlaw is certainly a fan of Naholo and the way he continues to improve. "He has made some big shifts this year. His game has developed so much at sevens level and he's made some massive strides physically," he said.

"Rugby-wise, to score 20 tries from only five tournaments, and two of those tournaments he didn't really play much in, shows huge potential, especially when you consider the top tryscorers of the series scored 38, 37 and 34."

After his standout performances on the world sevens circuit Naholo said he was happy "to go with the flow" and see what eventuated.

"I just want to play ITM (Cup) after this and probably play sevens again next year."

As well as mentally toughening up, Naholo said he had benefited greatly from the sevens season, with notable gains in his speed and strength.

Having welcomed his parents from Fiji for the first time yesterday, he was also looking forward to his mum's cooking.

Taranaki Daily News