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New Zealand U-20 Player Asafo Aumua May Be The Fastest Hooker We’ve Ever Seen

TBILISI, GEORGIA - JUNE 13: Asafo Aumua of New Zealand is tackled by Ugo Boniface of France during the World Rugby U20 Championship Semi Final match between New Zealand and France at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on June 13, 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Under-20 World Cup is a tournament where the next big things of world rugby are discovered. This year, one of the standout players is a hooker who may be faster than All Black No. 2 Dane Coles.

This competition has been a breeding ground for huge international stars. Exceptional talents like Julian Savea, George Ford, Elliot Daly and Dan Biggar all began their international careers in this tournament. Since its inception in 2008, England and New Zealand have dominated the competition, with England winning three of the last four tournaments and the Baby Blacks accumulating five in total. This year’s final in Georgia will see the two sides meet again, and there will be plenty of up-and-coming talent on show.

Certain to be one of the key players will be 20-year-old powerhouse hooker Asafo Aumua. One of the undoubted highlights  of New Zealand’s Under-20s semi-final against France was the end-to-end team try which featured a blistering 40-metre burst by Aumua in which he goose-stepped and then outgassed the French wing.

The 108kg Aumua, whose nickname Trapz must come from his Mike Tyson-like trapezius, has exceptional speed and a pretty useful sidestep, as he showed in this try for the New Zealand Schoolboys against Australia in 2015.

Aumua has reached national provincial level and played eight times for Wellington last year, with an astounding strike rate for a front rower of six tries, including one hat-trick. In an interview with Allblacks.com, Aumua, who has typical front row economy with words, described the inspirations who he modelled his game on as the destructive flanker Jerry Collins and the multi-skilled and pacy hooker Dane Coles.

Watch out for this flying wrecking ball in Sunday’s final in Georgia, which is certain to be one of the many big stages in his very promising career.

Kaal Kazzmarek, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.