This is the rising star formalized by the Stade Français on Monday. The New Zealand Parisians will count Njani Laumab (16 caps) in their ranks starting next season. Five things to know about this futuristic new face of the Top 14.
If Gaël Fickou is indeed a physically imposing center (1.90 m per 100 kg), Ngani Laumape (28) weighs three kg less but is 19 cm smaller (1.71 m vs 97 kg). A different size than the French who promised to torment 14 better defenses next season. With a low center of gravity and muscle mass, bringing a New Zealander to Earth won’t be easy. Especially as it displays a rather interesting dash of speed. Be careful not to let it gain momentum. His fellow pick, Nehe Milner-Skudder (16 picks), confirmed in 2017 that it’s “quite easy.” [de jouer] When a guy like him hits the attacker first, he pushes the team forward.” He called it the wrecking ball.
His absence from the 2019 World Cup was a surprise
Two years ago, when Steve Hansen announced his Japanese World Cup selection, Ngani Laumab’s name was missing, much to everyone’s astonishment. The All-Blacks coach would have preferred to take to the Land of the Rising Sun four more experienced positions than the 26-year-old. If the choices of Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown were somewhat justified, the choices of Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty were a bit more surprising given Laumape’s season. Hansen justified this choice by the experience and diversity of the latter two. “Those little things of his (Ryan Crotty, editor’s note) may have given an advantage over my survivor,” he explained. Ngani Laumape now has 16 picks for 40 points (8 attempts) in the black jersey. Who gives up his time in Paris…
His test against France in 2018:
He trained in rugby union, started with rugby union
Ngani Laumab trained in rugby union in his hometown of Palmerston North. At the age of 19, in 2012, he finally decided to get involved in rugby union by signing up with New Zealand Warriors, the only New Zealand franchise in the Australian Championship. He started with Juniors where he finished first in the competition (16 attempts). He played for the first time pro in March 2013. After three seasons of high quality, even though the most recent one was marred by a serious knee injury, he is back in rugby union. He joined the Hurricanes in Super Rugby in July 2015. In 61 games, he scored 230 points in 46 attempts.
His triple against Japan with 2018 All-Blacks
The younger, scare his future All Blacks teammates
Already physically impressive at a young age, Ngani Laumape was even feared by his future All-Blacks teammates. Ardi Savia (44 caps) admitted in 2015 that “he was one of the few players I was afraid to play against.” [quand j’étais à l’école], he had no brakes and just wanted to run straight and run over the guys.” Nobody can claim to have frightened a future New Zealand holder of 1.90m per 100kg.
Two Laumabe survivors take down Bioden Barrett with hurricanes in 2020.
His parents immigrated from Tonga to New Zealand
“My mum and dad came from Tonga, they didn’t know English but came to give their children a better life. Last October, before New Zealand’s match against Australia, Njani Laumab explained, the only way to thank my dad was to go out on the field and do my best.” in growth. I remember when I was young we used to work on the farm collecting asparagus, peas and zucchini. I hated school holidays because I had to work on the farm and collect peas,” he recalls.