The NRL’s New Zealand Warriors have beat out all opposition, not on the field, but at the bank, in securing the services of a 17-year-old Auckland schoolboy named Etene Nanai.
Nanai intends to finish his stint in the Auckland schools rugby competition as the centre for the St. Kentigern College first XV.
His older cousin is Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and rising star Melani Nanai of the Blues and Samoa’s Tim Nanai-Williams.
The Warriors have retained the youngster until the end of 2019, in the process beating the Chiefs Super Rugby side in the competition for the youngster who has trained more than adequately with the Warriors at one period.
It is possible that Nanai or the Warriors could part ways, but after turning Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson inside out during a one-on-one defensive drill, it is obvious that Nanai is ready for the NRL, even if the Warriors chose to bring him along cautiously.
When he plays games at his current level, it is a case of pure man amongst boys and it almost seems unfair at times.
There must be something in the water of Samoa to account for the disproportionate number of top-notch players the small nation produces, somewhat akin to how Puerto Rico turns out MLB players at an astonishing rate.