MEET THE MAKOS PLAYERS
This week we talk to Monty Ioane.
Congratulations on becoming Tasman Mako # 126. You come to us via France. Tell us about that journey and how you ended up in NZ?
I was born in Melbourne and left for boarding school in Brisbane at age 16. I was in the Queensland Reds academy when, in 2013, my uncle Digby Ioane arranged for both of us to go to play at Stade Francais. It was a great opportunity for an 18 year old and I got to play 6 games in their top side. I then got a call from Dave Rennie to join the Chiefs wider training squad. I signed with Bay of Plenty BUT I’m on loan to Tasman for this season.
At what age, where and at what position did you first play rugby?
I was 6 or 7 when I first played in Melbourne. I didn’t like rugby so stopped playing until I was 12 when I picked up the game again as a flanker. Now my preferred position is wing.
Who was your biggest influence to become a better rugby player?
Digby pushed me to be a better player and also to experience the life and travel experiences that rugby can provide.
Who has been your biggest influence on life away from the game?
My parents, dad Paul and mum Vika have brought me up with strong family values. Dad is Samoan and mum is Fijian so we have broad cultural and family ties.
The Makos environment has always been welcoming. Is anyone pulling your leg yet?
This is a really great set up, a good bunch of blokes. Everyone has their moments at ribbing me.
Who have you buddied up with in the squad?
I tend to hang with everybody but I’m very close to Pete Samu. He’s my cousin, we’re both originally from Melbourne and he looked after me when I was at boarding school in Brisbane.
Name any player in world rugby who you would most like to be like and why?
I really love watching George North of Wales, he’s agile, dynamic and explosive. You wouldn’t think such a big guy as him could move so well.
What is the one thing that people don’t know about you?
My name is Montana.