'Bloody awesome': Rising star Segner on challenging Blues' All Blacks for game time
German-born Anton Segner is rising through the ranks at the Blues after joining the Super Rugby side last season, showing a gritty but dynamic skillset that has earned him a start at blindside flanker in the battle of the Bombays this weekend.
A man-of-the-match performance against the Force in round five has put Segner back in the spotlight, starting against the last unbeaten side in the competition, leaving fellow fan-favourite Tom Robinson on the bench.
Robinson himself has had plenty of backing to feature at the next level, although playing as a loose forward in a squad with All Blacks Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali’i and Hoskins Sotutu has meant consistent game time only comes in the instance of injury to one of those three or, a positional shift, as Robinson has played at lock in recent seasons.
Segner now knows that struggle and has had to bide his time as the youngster in a “world-class” pecking order, but a chance to learn from and compete with the best of the best is exactly was brought him to New Zealand in the first place.
“It’s bloody awesome,” Segner told Martin Devlin on The Platform. “Really just a massive opportunity for myself to learn and a big part of the reason as to why I decided to join the Blues, to pick the brains of those three or four guys.
“Now, being able to challenge them and prepare them week in, week out, it’s massive for me because they’re all world-class players and me knowing that if I can compete with them, and challenge them, and learn from them, then I can compete with the rest of the players that are right up there at the world-class level.
“So it helps me learn heaps but also gives me a bit of confidence, knowing I can compete on their level.”
Growing up in Frankfurt, rugby wasn’t the first sport Segner played, nor was it the second. His family have had season tickets to the local Bundesliga team, Eintracht Frankfurt, for 50 years. Football was naturally the first choice, then Ice Hockey, but rugby was the one that stuck, and for a simple reason: “I really just fell in love with the physicality side of things, and that you actually got to tackle people legally, in football that was a bit hard to do.”
Segner admits when he takes the field against the table-topping Chiefs, it’ll be one of the biggest games of his young career. He says the approach from the Blues will be to target the Chiefs’ strength, their physicality.
“We know that they pride themselves on their collisions, especially on their ball carry and their cleanouts on attack so we’re definitely going to do our best to try and take that away from them. So for the people watching, I think they can look forward to some big collisions on both sides of the ball.”
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Scooter contributes fine but as lock. Can he secure his own ball out wide like Frizell does? There are too many technical aspects that you cannot shoehorn him onto the side of the scrum. The question for him can he be a first pick lock?Go to comments
What would be nice would be for the NZRFU to actually spend some time on the U20s programme. It has clearly been an afterthought for the last decade.Go to comments