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Hoskins Hails Dad

Sotutu’s father, Waisake, starred on the wing for Auckland, the Blues and Fiji.
08 Sep 2020 10:38
Hoskins Hails Dad
Blues and new All Blacks No.8 Hoskins Sotutu. Photo: Blues

Hoskins Sotutu said it was his dad’s influence that enabled him to make the All Blacks.

Sotutu’s father, Waisake, starred on the wing for Auckland, the Blues and Fiji.

Waisake was the Flying Fijians vice-captain to the 1999 Rugby World Cup in France. He has been the biggest influence on the 22-year-old’s career.

“I owe a lot to that dude,” Sotutu who is originally from Tavea in Bua said of his dad.

“Being a young rugby player you always want to grow up and play for the All Blacks.

“At the beginning of this year I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just wanted to start and play well for the Blues. I’m pretty lucky to have this opportunity.”

Waisake Sotutu.

Waisake Sotutu.

Sotutu was a standout for the Blues this season before a knee injury forced him out of action for the backend of Super Rugby Aotearoa. He returned for the North South game, starting at No 8 alongside Akira Ioane and Ardie Savea in the loose trio, and confirmed his test potential with dynamic bursts and offloads down the edge.

Leading up to the naming of the squad on Sunday morning,

Sotutu told Rugby News that he woke at 6.30am and messaged Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu to go for a coffee but he instead told him to go back to sleep.

Sotutu added that the next hour-and-a-half waiting for All Blacks manager Darren Shand’s call about his selection felt like a lifetime.

‘Surprise of my life’

After missing out on selection for the North v South game, Blues and former Fijian Under-20 prop Alex Hodgman thought it was an indication he wouldn’t be named in the first All Blacks squad of the year.

As a result, the announcement on Sunday slipped his mind.

The new All Black admitted he “totally forgot” about the announcement on Sunday, revealing he learnt of his selection from reading messages on his phone.

Former Fijian Under-20 and new All Blacks prop Alex Hodgman.

Former Fijian Under-20 and new All Blacks prop Alex Hodgman.

Instead of tuning in, the 27-year-old had been attending a church service that began at the same time as the announcement.

“It’s an online service and it finished about 11.40,” he told Rugby News.

“Afterwards I checked my phone and saw all these texts and messages.

“I flicked on Sky Sport and sure enough the announcement was on. I totally forgot about it and got the surprise of my life, really.”

All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Hodgman earned his inclusion after maturing his scrummaging work with the Blues this season.

Hodgman had a strong campaign in the front row for the Blues, performing well at the scrum, making plenty of tackles and showing his mobility on attack.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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