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Rising star Tuitama aiming for U20 World Rugby Championship

Apr 9th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Sport

aukusomugTHE dream of playing for the Junior All Blacks at the Rugby Junior World Championship is a step closer for Northern United young gun Aukuso Tuitama.

Along with Norths team mate Jackson Garden-Bachop, the promising outside back made the cut of 45 players attending a training camp in Palmerston North in March.

The Under 20 World Championship starts in Auckland on June 2 with the final being played on June 20.

It is the first time the tournament has been held in New Zealand.

Aukuso says it was an exciting week at the Massey University campus and he received some positive feedback from coach Chris Boyd, who also coaches the Wellington Lions.

“It was kind of like being back at school, but I took a lot of learnings and experience out of it,” he says.

He has the pedigree to go all the way in professional rugby, being the nephew of Hurricanes star Alapati Leiua and Ofisa Traviranus, who have both played for Samoa.

Other favourite players include Conrad Smith and former Norths player Tamati Ellison, who play in the same position he does.

Aukuso, who is a Hurricanes Academy player, was born in Samoa and lived in Auckland until he moved at the age of 16 to Wellington and attended Porirua College.

As vice-captain of the First XV in 2011, he scored the opening try of the game as they beat Mana College to win the prestigious Beard Trophy for the first time in 31 years.

Aukuso, or “Kuso” as he is known to his friends, is studying business at Massey University in Wellington, but only part time as rugby is his number one priority for now.

He also enjoys traveling back to Samoa when he can to see family and friends.

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