This weekend Codie Taylor (Ngāti Raukawa, Muaūpoko, Ngāti Toa) is set to play his 50th match for the All Blacks. His fellow teammate Dane Coles from Ngāti Porou has nothing but praise for him.
“It's a massive milestone. I've known Codie for since before he was a professional rugby player. We've grown up in the same area, so I've connected to him since a young fulla,” says Coles.
Only two Māori hookers have successfully achieved this. Andrew Hore with 83 caps and Dane Coles with 67.
“Really stoked for him, he's worked his ass off to get where he is.”
In total 11 Māori have achieved the 50 cap mark. A descendant of former All Black Walter Pringle the young athlete was first selected in 2015 and to date has been part of the starting side 25 times. His teammates have nothing but praise for him.
“He's a really good person, he's a great leader amongst this team now, so yeah I'm stoked he's reached his 50th."
“He's taken that hooker game to another level so it's created a great competition between the hookers."
It’s a position usually held by Coles and even though he’s on the bench he has no qualms about it.
“All good for me. I know I've got a job to do off the bench and I'm experienced enough to know how to prepare off the bench."
He’s up for his 50th cap and tomorrow will be the second time Taylor has gone up against England.