Former TBHS captain set for Super Rugby debut

20:10, May 13 2014
Aki Seiuli
SITTING FRONT ROW: Former Timaru Boys High captain Aki Seiuli has been called into the Highlanders squad as front row cover.

Former Timaru Boys' High School captain Aki Seiuli looks set to make his Super Rugby debut for the Highlanders against the Hurricanes on Friday night.

Seiuli has been called up from club rugby with Taieri after the Highlanders front row was hit with injuries and a suspension.

The 21-year-old is both delighted and a bit nervous at the prospect.

"It will be tough but I am looking forward to it."

Seiuli will definitely make the reserve bench for the clash in Wellington as the Highlanders have only three available props, Kane Hames, Ma'afu Fia and Matias Diaz. Tipping the scales at 117kg, Seiuli said he had been focusing on tighthead this year but he has ability to play both sides of the scrum.

That versatility has also helped his promotion and he has trained with the squad over the past three weeks.


His parents were delighted with his selection, but are based in Dunedin and will not be able to attend the game.

"They will have a full house and it will get pretty excited if I get on." Seiuli said.

New Super Rugby rules do not allow coaches to pick players from other teams' wider training groups which meant Jamie Joseph had to dip into club rugby stock.

University lock Josh Dickson is also in the mix. Dickson has not played for Otago yet but has undoubted potential after being named in the NZ under-20 team for the world junior championships in Auckland next month.

Seiuli captained TBHS in 2011 and also made the South Canterbury development side out of school. He was also capped once for the Heartland side before moving to Dunedin in 2012, to join the Otago Rugby Academy.

Ten months after leaving school he was called into the Otago squad and has been a regular since then.

The Timaru Herald