Strong running midfielder Tei Walden, 28, joins the Hurricanes for the 2022 Super Rugby season.
Walden grew up in Taranaki and was Head Boy at Francis Douglas Memorial College before moving to Dunedin to study. Making his debut for Otago in 2013, Walden played 47 games for the southern province.
Debuting for the Highlanders in 2016, Walden had to fight for game time until 2018, when he started in the first game of the Investec Super Rugby season against the Blues, scoring two tries. He went on to start all but one game at second five-eighth.
Walden continued playing for the Highlanders until the end of the 2020 season, but his provincial heart has seen him return to his home province Taranaki for the NPC since 2018.
Walden made his debut for the Māori All Blacks during the side’s 2017 Northern Tour, coming off the bench against the French Barbarians. He was selected again in 2018, where he started in the number 12 jersey against USA and Brazil, before adding impact off the bench against Chile.
In 2020, Walden completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in geography with a minor in Te Reo Māori.