NRL dream comes true for ex Taranaki student on debut for South Sydney Rabbitohs
21 Aug 2018
Mawene Hiroti's NRL debut for South Sydney Rabbitohs was a "dream come true", the former New Plymouth Spotswood College student said.
While the 38-18 loss to the Brisbane Bronco's at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night was not the result the 19-year-old back would have wanted, he was just "stoked" to be on the field, he said.
"I knew it was going to be tough and hard, it was a bit quick but I'm stoked, he said in a post match interview on Rabbitohs.com.au. website.
"It was a dream come true", Hiroti said of his debut appearance, after training with the Rabbitohs squad since January.
"There was a massive crowd at Suncorp and it gave me the opportunity to run around with some of the legends.
"It was great to get on the field and play in front of the family who were up from Sydney."
The 187cm and 95kg back's talent was spotted by the Rabbitohs in 2013, when he was a 14-year-old playing for New Plymouth's Western Suburb's Tigers.
Hiroti, who can play anywhere from centre to wing to fullback, spent time with the Rabbitohs under-20 side before moving to the club's NRL squad.
He recently had his contract extended to 2019.
Hiroti is one of the few players who have represented both New Zealand and Australia at rugby league having played for Australian Schoolboys against English Academy Schools in 2016.
Last year he opted to play for the Junior Kiwi's against his former side.
Stuff - Mike Watson