In New Zealand, one step closer to a dream

In New Zealand, one step closer to a dream

Anton Signer in New Zealand on his way to All Blakes.

Germany’s greatest rugby talent is ready for the next step in his career. About two months ago, Anton Signer moved to New Zealand, the land of the legendary Blacks. Within the South Island, gravitate to Christchurch. The city of 400,000 residents is not only the cultural center of this part of the country, but it also hosts a very successful rugby club. The Crusaders are defending the champions and record winners in the “Super Rugby” series, in which the best teams from New Zealand and Australia are at its core.

The “Crusaders” are currently preparing for the season. Segner, who was born in Frankfurt and started sports as a young student at the traditional club SC 1880, is now part of “Saders”. “I would like to do the pre-season match for the Crusaders and spend as much time as possible with the team,” says the 19-year-old. There is a lot to learn from famous players, including patriots like Sam Whitlock and Scott Barrett who wear red and black, both of whom are at home in a storm like Segner.

The first German address

It would be logical to intensify this learning process in developing a full-fledged third-row striker 1.92 m high from Frankfurt. The big success also gave a boost: At the end of last year, Segner won the Miter Cup 10 with Tasman Mako, the New Zealand championship that was less than “Super Rugby”. At 13:12 over favorite Auckland, he was substituted in the final stage and immediately awarded a penalty – an important building block in the way of defending the title of “Hay” (Mako), thus his first German win a title in New Zealand.

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“Winning the 10 Miter Cup means a lot to me, as it’s a very big success across New Zealand – and experiencing this in the first year after school is very special,” says Signer. There is no doubt about that, with Tasman Mako it is important for him to gain more advantages in order to have a real chance with the Crusaders in the medium term. “More playing time with Mako” is the short-term goal.

Signer describes how he can help the team from Nelson, a town founded by English settlers 180 years ago: “Since I was the youngest player on the team, I’ve been an energy booster, so my job was when I got up and got a place to help my team mates, my team with new energy and new legs.” .

Last time home 13 months ago

The effort put into this has been amazing and it’s of course growing in size. Anton Segner stands in the training area three hours a day, four times a week. »In addition to additional individual training. I would say it’s about 14 hours a week. “After every show of strength, there is moral support from a girlfriend. At the end of November, he said goodbye to his host family and first moved in with his girlfriend’s family, celebrating Christmas there together (not when there is snow, but at 30 degrees), before the two of us pitched our tent in Christchurch.

Signer was his last visit to Frankfurt 14 months ago. The visit from home was much longer ago, as the parents and two brothers covered the 18,500km route in July 2019. He maintains contacts with his former club SC 80 through Anton Rubf – and the Manawatu brothers.

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New Zealander Timothy Manawatu once made a trip to the delicious rugby Dorado for Anton Signer. “I even have been in regular contact with him because he’s been my mentor, so to speak, since I started rugby ten or eleven years ago. He also knows my family very well. That’s why I feel a little closer to my family every time I meet him.”

This also gives Anton Segner the strength to keep his way, so that one day he can wear the black shirt with the silver fern and make an appearance in New Zealand pick. “My main goal is to be the best athlete I can be – and if the All Blacks were one of them, then of course it would be a dream come true.” A dream that much has already come true. Stefan Fritchie

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