5 Dec 2014

Sport: Tongia out to earn teammates' respect

4:23 pm on 5 December 2014

his next task is earning the respect of his team-mates.

Having achieved his goal of signing a Super Rugby contract, Highlanders flyer Ryan Tongia says

his next task is earning the respect of his team-mates.

The former Papua New Guinea rugby league international will spend the next two years with the Dunedin-based franchise as a member of the team's wider training group.

The 24-year-old was a star performer in this year's ITM Cup for Hawkes Bay, with the Mapies winning the Ranfurly Shield and making the Championship final.

Four of his provincial team-mates are also in the Highlanders squad, one Tongia believes is a good fit for his game.

"There were a couple of other teams that were chasing me. It was more so the conversations that I had with Jamie Joseph really connected with me and I really felt that with the team that he's got down here, having the ability that I have [and] being able to put that forward, what was going to be the best thing for my career so I chose the Highlanders and definitely not regretting it. It's about getting in there and earning the respect of your teammates and just having a good crack I guess and like I said build that foundation so come the season we're firing ready to go and building, getting better throughout the season".

Ryan Tongia

Ryan Tongia Photo: PHOTOSPORT