16 hours ago - 1 Likes
Rugby player Tiatia trains with Broncos
Tiatia's rugby career, which has included a world sevens crown in 2001, could come to an end this week after he accepted an invitation to train with the Broncos for a place in the club's top side.
The rugby wing/fullback left for Brisbane yesterday and could be in Broncos colours for Saturday's NRL match against the Sharks.
"I'm off the plane and training with the guys straight away," he said.
"They don't know what I play like and want to have a good look at me with this weekend in mind."
He said the initial invitation had been a seven-week temporary contract to play in reserve grade but he received a call yesterday to say he would be looked at for the premier team.
"It's all happened pretty quickly," he said.
"This is a great opportunity and I feel I'm still young enough to have a good crack at league."
Tiatia, 24, played rugby league at secondary school and earned selection for the New Zealand under-18 league team.
He also signed for the Penrith Panthers as an 18-year-old but broke the contract to commit to rugby in Canterbury.
"It's a decision I certainly don't regret but I feel I've gone as far as I can with rugby here and this is another opportunity for me."
Tiatia played for Canterbury A in 2001 but was loaned out to Southland for NPC duties and played for Bay of Plenty last year.
"This year no one wants me."
He said there were limited opportunities to reach Canterbury's elite team "because there's so many good player around here".
"What's disappointing for me is that I feel I've been playing some good rugby this year. But that's sport and I think I'm young enough to make some changes.
"This move could be a positive for me. I have to look at it that way," he said.
Playing sevens for New Zealand had been a highlight of Tiatia's rugby career but "it was not enough to keep me in rugby".
"It's been an awesome experience and if things don't work out in Brisbane there's always the chance to come back. I'm not closing the door on anything."