Ex All Black is already obliterating defences in Japan
By Rugby Onslaught

Ex All Black is already obliterating defences in Japan

It has not taken long for former All Blacks centre Ngani Laumape to make his impact in Japan.

The 29-year-old powerhouse joined the Kobelco Kobe Steelers last year after a stint in the Top 14 with Stade Francais, and has not taken long to acclimatise to the new competition, which is just two rounds old.

After his side lost in the opening round of the Japan Top League to the Yokohama Canon Eagles 39-30, Laumape’s Steelers bounced back in round two at the end of last month with a 58-26 win over the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners. The former All Black opened the try scoring in that match for his side, and scored his second just a few minutes later before registering a hat trick just after half time. That takes his tally to three tries in two games so far.

One of his tries has done the rounds on social media, as it typifies everything he is about. The 100kg centre proved how lethal he is when inside the opponents’ 22, as three tacklers failed to stop him after taking a crash ball off the back of a scrum.

That is what Laumape has always been known for, and does better than most other players in the game. It is what earned his 15 All Blacks caps, the last of which came in 2020. However, he struggled to break into Ian Foster’s All Blacks squad, and subsequently made the move to the Top 14 in 2021. As a result of this All Blacks exile, Laumape has confirmed his intention to represent Tonga in the future. As his three year stand down period from Test rugby will be complete this year, he will be available to represent Tonga in November this year. However, that will be after the World Cup.

In the meantime, his side face the Green Rockets Tokatsu this weekend.

Take a look at his try: