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What it's like to be hit by Hunter Paisami

By Ian Cameron
Hunter Paisami (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Wallabies and Queensland Reds centre Hunter Paisami is maybe one of the hardest hitters in the modern game.

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The 24-year-old seems to have found a tackling sweet spot, where he’s able to level players while remaining legal within the increasingly strict tackle laws of rugby union.

One of his latest victims was Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White, who made an appearance on the RugbyPass Offload podcast this week.

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Offload Ep 33 – Nic White – Wallaby Legends, Cheika v Jones, and The Honey Badger let loose in Chicago
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Offload Ep 33 – Nic White – Wallaby Legends, Cheika v Jones, and The Honey Badger let loose in Chicago

White was flattened by Paisami in a Queensland Res versus Brumbies game last month. He gets on well with the youngster off the paddock thanks to Wallabies’ camps, but that didn’t mean he got a pass when he attempted to run an ill-advised route down Paisami’s defensive channel.

“That was hilarious,” said White. “That hurt a lot.

“As I run out on the field there’s a lineout, I’m coming on, playing the last 20 or 30, and run past Hunter and say ‘Look after it dad’. He’s got a little girl. We’re pretty close from the Wallabies camps and I’m like ‘look after it’ and he’s ‘Yeah, no worries.’

“About 15 minutes later he absolutely cuts me in half.

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“Honestly, you can see in the footage, I grab him straight away. That was just instinct. Straight away I was winded and grab him was like ‘Aaaawwwgh’.

“This is how nice he is. He’s like cut me in half and on the way down he’s like ‘Sorry mate’.

“I was don’t worry about it mate. It is what it is. It was a terrible move, never should have tried it on you.

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“He’s taken some serious victims and unfortunately I’m on that list now. I’m on Rene Ranger’s list. Taniela’s list. Anyone else who’s belted me. There’s been a few.”

Panel regulars Ryan Wilson and Max Lahiff were asked who had hit them the hardest in their career.

“I’ll say it everytime, I’ll throw Jerry Collins out there. When he played for Ospreys. Absolutely melted boys. Put me in two. Strangled me on the floor afterward as well. He was a hard man,” concluded Wilson.

Bristol Bears prop Lahiff’s hardest hit was of a more recent vintage.

“This season I took a decent carry into Courtney [Lawes]. It didn’t end well.

“You’ve obviously got really bad shoulders Ryan. It was the first time I really felt them [pointing at his own shoulders]. It’s a really complicated joint. He completely disassembled the AC. I had this little bulge popping up here on the collarbone. ‘My god. What’s that?”

“That was very tasty. I was like ‘Yeah. The legend is real.’

Yet it was retired Tongan back row Chris Hala’ufia that still gives Lahiff nightmares.

“However I still stand by that Chris Hala’ufia is the most terrifying hitter that I’ve ever seen, will ever see in this game.

“He should have played rugby league. Wasted in the union game. Now his favorite colour would be red every weekend. There’s no chance he’d survive out there now.”

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