Blues flanker aims high

Onosa'i Tololima-Auva'a begins 2008 as Daniel Braid's understudy at the Blues, but wants to end it as a New Zealand international. [more]

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Onosa’i Tololima-Auva’a begins 2008 as Daniel Braid’s understudy at the Blues, but wants to end it as a New Zealand international.

New Zealand player of the year Braid looks the most likely candidate to take international honours in the next 12 months.

But Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tololima-Auva’a wants to ensure he is also in a position to challenge for a senior debut.

The 24-year-old told the rugbyheaven.co.nz website: "I would like to be known as a player who takes every opportunity that I am given, whether that is one minute on the field or the full 80 minutes, and at training I give it my all throughout.

"I am ambitious and would like to represent my country at the highest level for the All Blacks. That is a definite goal but I am still learning."

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However, he is aware his primary goal is to impress with the Blues.

"Braidy is one of the best number sevens in the world so being in teams with him is a chance for me to learn off him," he said.

"We have different game styles, so it is good to learn his as well as focusing on mine. He is the best at knowing where the play is and where the opportunities are.

"My strengths are speed to the ball and my work in the tackle on the ground – I need to improve my game in those areas where he is so strong."

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