Since the first official All Blacks team hit the field in New South Wales in 1884, a total of 1,190 players have come through the ranks to wear the famous black jersey.
Of these nearly 1200 players, many were born abroad and came from countries like Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, England, Scotland, Ireland and South Africa, as well as minnow rugby nations like Singapore, India and Hong Kong.
Neither was born in Germany, however, but aspiring teenage star Anton Segner hopes to break that mold in the years to come.
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The 19-year-old striker is beginning to make his mark on the New Zealand rugby scene three years after moving to Nelson College for an original six-month stint.
Encouraged by his former coach in Germany and current Tasman development officer Tim Manawatu, Segner made the school’s 1st XV an achievement he had previously described as unexpected.
His exploits in the field have since exploded, and Segner led his school to a UC master’s degree last year, adding to the successive choices of New Zealand schools in 2018 and 2019.
All of this culminated in Tasman Mako, the reigning Miter 10 Cup champion, who offered the youngster a two-year contract right after school, leading to Segner’s provincial debut against Southland just over a week ago.
It seems that the building blocks are in place for the talented backrower to eventually achieve his long-term goal of playing for the All Blacks, a team he’d rather play for than his native Germany, a 30th-century team Place is occupied by rugby world rankings
To speak to What a boy Segner, podcast hosted by the injured Hurricanes and Tasman utilities James Marshall, said the All Blacks’ status makes the team much more attractive than their homeland.
“Definitely New Zealand. All blacks about the German national team, just because the German national team is not that lightning fast, ”he said when asked which country he would rather represent.
“I like to say ‘still’ because I hope the sport will grow there, but my ultimate goal is to be the best athlete I can be and if it’s part of that journey to be an All Black, then that would be great would be cool. ”
While the All Blacks selection may still be far from being realized, Segner has already had the honor of representing New Zealand in the age group.
Selected as a 12th grade student for the 2018 school team, Segner teamed up with future Miter 10 Cup prospects such as Niko Jones, Rivez Reihana, Sam Darry and Isaiah Punivai to create the Tonga Schools, Australia Schools Barbarians and Australia Schools to fall.
The following year, Segner won with current Miter 10 Cup rookies Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepens, Ruben Love, Aidan Morgan and Gideon Wrampling against the Fiji U18s, despite losing to Australia Schools for the first time since 2012.
Nevertheless, Segner was happy about the experience of wearing the silver fern and performing the haka, as he had dreamed of it as a child in Frankfurt.
“When I was nine years old when I started playing rugby, I watched the highlights of the 2011 World Cup,” said the 1.92 m long flanker weighing 108 kg, who also represented Germany at U16 level What a boy Podcast.
“We saw the Haka with Piri Weepu and I thought, ‘Man, it would be great to do that one day. ‚
“Tim Manawatu always talked about how cool it is to do the haka and how to get involved in the game.
“It was unreal to do it for the first time with the New Zealand Schools team in 2018.”
He may have to wait longer than expected to do it again as a residency rule denied him a chance to play for the New Zealand U20 team.
“In 2017, the rule was that you had to have lived in the country for three years and not leave the country for more than six weeks each year,” said Segner.
“At the end of 2017 I didn’t even think Tasman Mako or New Zealand Schools or U20s were a dream for me, so I wasn’t worried about that.
“I came back to Germany for about half a year to finish my school, so my first year didn’t count at all.
“Another thing that happened was that in Germany, between my first and second year in New Zealand, I changed this rule to five years. So I came back here and spent my first counted year in New Zealand.
“I just know that it is [his eligibility for New Zealand will come] shortly after i turned 21 but then i’m too old so u20s are unfortunately excluded for me but i’m still lucky that they want me to go to all camps and stuff so that’s cool. ”
Had fate taken a different path, Segner might have played against New Zealand instead of playing for them in the age group.
While practicing his profession in Germany in his youth, the teen’s talents were noticed by Premiership scouts on a club tour of England about five years ago.
An expression of interest from the London Irish may have drawn Segner towards the England white jersey and red rose below, but he chose to take the advice of his coaches to move to New Zealand instead.
“With my old club, 1880 Frankfurt, we were in the U14, so I was about 13 or 14 years old,” he said to Marshall.
“We went there and it was pretty fun because we usually try to do an overseas tour there once a year.
“These teams wouldn’t expect us to be that good but since we were lucky enough to have Kiwi coaches we were pretty well trained and they were surprised how good we were and we usually beat most of these teams.
“This year we went to London Irish and they said, ‘Look, we like the way you play and we see a bright future in you and we are interested in you going to our academy’ but I thought ‘No’ .
“The trainers over there [in Germany]They won me over to New Zealand, so I was set to New Zealand – flights were booked and everything. ”
Subsequently, Segner is on track to push for Super Rugby honors – even with just two Miter 10 Cup internationals – especially after being invited to pre-season training with the Crusaders earlier this year by head coach Scott Robertson.
Given her status as the four-time reigning Super Rugby Champion, it’s no surprise that Segner, a member of the Crusaders Academy and former Crusaders U18 representative, has listed her as his franchise of choice.
However, he will take what he can in this regard as he looks to tick one more achievement in a growing list of career goals few New Zealand players could ever achieve.
“Just try to get as much playing time as you can with the mako here and get a super rugby gig somewhere,” he said of the future of his rugby future.
“Now that I have Miter 10 Cups [experience]Hopefully I’ll play a little more in it, then the next step is super rugby, as soon as possible. ”
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