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Leni Apisai

Hooker

Bio

During his High School years, Apisai balanced playing first XV rugby for Wellington College with turning out for Wellington at age group level, including captaining their U16 side.

The young hooker from Porirua first played provincial rugby aged 18 during the 2014 ITM Cup, making two appearances and one start. The 2015 season, Although was one of disappointment for his team, for Apisai personally, it saw him take advantage of Motu Matu'u's involvement with Samoa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup to establish himself as the Lions first choice in the number 2 jersey, playing all 12 games during the season and scoring 2 tries.

After just two provincial appearances for Wellington, Apisai was named as part of the Hurricanes wider training group ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season. Given his lack of top-level experience at age 19, he was unable to take to the field at any point during his first year, taking the role of fourth choice rake behind; Dane Coles, Motu Matu'u and Brayden Mitchell.

Doors began to open for him ahead of the 2016 season as Apisai was left temporarily as the Canes first choice No 2 and debuted in week one of the season against the Brumbies in Canberra.

Apisai started the first three games of the year and played a total of five matches in his first season as a member of the Canes senior squad.

Apisai was a New Zealand Schools representative in 2013 and later captained the New Zealand U20s side which finished fifth in the 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Championship in England, scoring 1 try in 5 matches.

In October 2016 Apisai, who affiliates to the Ngāti Awa iwi, was named in the Māori All Blacks squad for their end of year tour to the Northern Hemisphere. He debuted as a replacement for the Māori captain Ash Dixon in a 27-14 defeat by Munster on 11 November 2016.

 

CAPTION: Leni Apisai in action during the 2016 Investec Super Rugby Final against the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium. PHOTO: Getty Sport

Player profile

Position
Hooker
Height
182
Weight
108
Date of birth
08-03-96
Birthplace
Porirua
Province
Wellington
Nickname
Lens
Career
2016-2017

Stats

Provincial Teams
Wellington
Super Rugby Caps
4
Super Rugby Debut
v Brumbies, Canberra, 26/02/16
Appearances
4