They say all good things come to those who wait. Well it’s taken a decade for Taniwha prop Ross Wright to get his chance at the Blues.
The 31-year-old, born and bred in Wellsford, got his chance when selected for NZ Maori for their end of season tour to Canada and Europe late last year. Blues coach Tana Umaga was the assistant coach there and was impressed by the work ethic and versatility of Wright, who plays both prop and hooker.
Wright took up the offer for a three-week stint pre-season as cover while the All Blacks were out of action.
Five months later Wright remains an integral part of the team, having earned six caps, a tour to South Africa and more than held his own in the hustle and bustle of Investec Super Rugby.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve tried to make the team for eight or nine years – it’s so awesome,” Wright said. “I thought I would be there for three weeks but here I am still here and loving every minute of the experience.”
Wright originally earned a living in the fencing business before moving to Whangarei when he was first selected for Northland 10 years ago. He started a lawn mowing business with Cameron Goodhue, brother of Blues lock Josh, before focussing fully on his rugby.
“It has been everything I thought it would be. I am learning so much off the guys who’ve been here for a number of years and now I think I belong.
“It’s helped with a few of the Taniwha boys here who’ve made it easy to settle.”
Wright believes his inclusion, along with a bunch from the Taniwhas, will help further bolster the rugby stocks in Northland with the benefit of playing professional rugby. And he wants more.
“It’s something I definitely want to repeat. Hopefully there’s no more fencing days for me.”