Tell us about where you came from to join OBU?

I came straight out of school to join OBU at 19 years old, I was at Wellington College so 3 of my great mates from school (Titapu Pairama-Lewington, Lima Sopoaga and Hanipale Galo) came to OBU as well which made the transition enjoyable. My brother Dylan was at OBU already so I went straight into the seniors and played 6 seasons of Senior 1s and Prems rugby. I also was the treasurer at OBU for 2 years and coach of the Under 7 Saddlers for 2 years.

What is your favourite on-field memory?

Playing on-field memory:

Lots of great on-field memories but the victory over Ories at the Basin in 2011 was probably my favourite game. The Ories team had Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea and Motu Matu’u playing and they were flying high in the Swindale Shield so to beat them and keep the Jubilee Cup dream alive was fantastic.

Coaching on-field memory:

Bringing Lima down to Boyd Wilson on a Saturday morning after the Highlanders match and seeing the Under 7s faces brought back all the memories of why you get into Rugby and the heroes you have as kids.

 What is your favourite off-field memory?

Playing off-field memory:

We had a good thing going in 2011-12 of having a beer or two at Smithy and Dylan’s place which was particularly enjoyable. The ‘life advice’ as a young guy that you used to get after a couple of beers from the older heads like Paul Swift, Con Williams, Dan Mellon, Smithy, Mike Copeland, Paddy Gough, Dan Keith, Peter Osbourne, Trapper (and all other older heads around my time) was what club Rugby is all about and hands down the best memories of my time at OBU.

Coaching off-field memory:

Organising the Junior Prizegiving to be held up at NZ Rugby was always fun. Bringing out the Bledisloe Cup, William Webb Ellis etc was almost more enjoyable for the parents than it was for the kids!

 Are you involved in rugby these days? Tell us about it.

Not hugely involved currently while doing the OE here in the UK. But I used to work at NZ Rugby so I have tried to keep that connection going over here and another proud OBU man Conrad Smith put me in touch with Sam Warburton to have a RWC 2019 preview chat up here which was great fun – but that is it for now.

What’s life like after OBU? Where are you these days? Work, family etc 

As mentioned, living in the UK, work in finance. There are many ex-OBU boys up here and we went off on a stag do in Spain a few weeks back for former OBU speedster Will Mowbray. There were at least 6 ex-OBU boys on that trip which was a great example of the networks made.

Any messages of inspiration you want to pass back to the Goat community?
Just to soak up all the friendships, advice and memories that you make in your time at OBU. Also to give back, there are a huge amount of volunteers at OBU so being aware of the work people do to get teams on the field and giving back in any small way possible is vital to keep proud clubs like OBU running. Jobs like treasurer and coaching were really rewarding roles and a great way to get to know the unsung heroes. You even get to take Boagy’s scooter for a joy ride!


Thanks Jesse.

You can listen to the podcast here…