'I've got to perform': Asafo Aumua discusses his RWC ambitions
With this year’s Rugby World Cup just a matter of months away, there are a number of players in New Zealand with a genuine point to prove in Super Rugby Pacific.
Hurricanes hooker Asafo Aumua is one of them.
Aumua, 25, re-signed with New Zealand Rugby through to the end of 2025 in August last year even though he missed out on international selection with the All Blacks.
All Blacks Samisoni Taukei’aho, Codie Taylor and Dane Coles are all regulars for the national team, and appear to be the frontrunners for his year’s World Cup squad.
But just because it appears to be that way, doesn’t mean it will.
Aumua has been sensational off the bench for the Hurricanes so far this season, and has been promoted to the starting team for their round four clash against the Waratahs on Friday.
Speaking with radio host Martin Devlin ahead of the round four blockbuster at Sky Stadium, Aumua admitted that he thinks about the All Blacks “every week.”
“I just like to focus week-to-week… I just try to put my best foot forward for the team, always about the team,” Aumua said on The Platform.
“It does get into my mind, I do think about it every week – not all day.
“Mostly game day… ‘I’ve got to perform today if I want to get into that squad’.”
The Hurricanes and Waratahs have shown glimpses of greatness throughout the early stages of this year’s campaign, but both teams are coming off losses in round three.
After starting their season with wins over the Reds and Rebels, the Hurricanes in a thriller by rivals the Blues at Sky Stadium on Saturday.
As for the Waratahs, they risk falling to a one-and-three record if they fail to beat the Hurricanes across the ditch this week.
Following on from last year’s tense encounter between the two teams – which the Hurricanes by four – Aumua said he’s been “thinking about this game” ever since.
“I’ve been thinking about this game since the last time we played (the Waratahs), especially around our set-piece,” he added.
“Our scrum last year didn’t go well, some of the boys were subbed off before half-time.
“This game, I’m really looking forward to this one.
“I was in that starting front row, it was me and the other props, we’ve been talking about this game for a while now.
“We’ve just put our energy this week into our training and a few extras here and there.”
Captain Ardie Savea has been named to return at No. 8 for the Hurricanes, after serving a one game suspension for a throat-slitting gesture in Super Round.
Savea’s inclusion is one of three changes to the Hurricanes’ starting XV, including Aumua who will run out in the No. 2 jersey.
Winger Kini Naholo will also make his Hurricanes debut when the match kicks off at 7:05pm NZT on Friday.
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The wales South Africa game was far more physical than the England NZ semi. Empty the tank, what a joke. They got beaten by smart tactics by Rassie in the final. The same way Eddie outwitted Hansen. Wales emptied the tank against the Springboks. They clearly had nothing left.Go to comments
Loads of fun and info as always. Love the brick wall comment…Go to comments