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Perenara's All Blacks Ambitions Unwavering After Achilles Injury

Perenara's All Blacks Ambitions Unwavering After Achilles Injury

All BlacksMarch 1, 2024

Halfback TJ Perenara's desire to resume his Test career with the All Blacks shows no sign of declining.

Perenara told the Front Row Daily Show, "I have massive aspirations to play for the All Blacks and represent our country. It's the pinnacle of the game in my eyes, playing for the All Blacks, and to get back there would be awesome.

"Obviously, my first focus now is to play well for the Hurricanes and to help us win a Super Rugby Championship but I would be lying if I said I wasn't aspiring to be an All Black."

 

Perenara said he felt he was in the best condition of his career, especially after 15 months to work on that following his Achilles tendon rupture in England in 2022.

"I've had a really good medical team around me. My physio Nic who has done most of the work with me, she's been awesome throughout this journey and I owe a lot to her. Our trainers throughout the [Wellington] Lions, All Blacks and Hurricanes, have all committed a lot of time to me and I thank them for allowing me to get to where I am now."

His rehabilitation had been a long journey with some hiccups along the way, but since his last surgery in July, things had moved nicely.

"I've played a couple of games now so, hopefully, I'll be available to play in the top side next week."

However, there was a positive side to being away from the game; he had been able to help his wife through pregnancy and the birth of a son.

The break has not diminished his desire to be playing again.

"I've been playing for 13-14 years now which is a blessing, and I love it, but having the game taken away from me for 15 months has maybe given me a new love for it, and a new appreciation for how privileged and how much I cherish this game."

Added to that is helping his nephew, Bay of Plenty NPC mid-field back, at the start of his professional career.

Paul lives with Perenara in Wellington as part of the wider Hurricanes' training group.

And that was an extra incentive for him.

 

"To have my nephew live with me, I drive him to training every day, and we're working together every day, and to see him in the early part of his professional career, it gives me so much motivation to continue to try to be the best I can be to be the example for my nephew.

"[To show him] this is what we have to do in order to get to where we want to get to.

"It doesn't mean you're going to make it. Just because you work the hardest doesn't always mean you are going to be the best, but it gives you a good opportunity to get to where you want to get to.

"I'm not as talented as he is. He's bigger, faster, stronger, he's got all of that, but his application to want to work harder, get better, is something that has been the foundation of my career and I see that in him."

Perenara said he also enjoyed answering Paul's questions about why it was necessary to do certain things they were asked to do.

"I'd love to get out there and play top sides with him," he said.

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