New Zealand born Connacht prop Rodney Ah You made one of the tackles on the weekend despite his side being thumped 64-6 by Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday. Kiwi Ah You was recently named in Ireland’s extended Six Nations squad.
Saracens were completely dominant against Connacht and as if to rub salt into the wounds, they even scored a try after this cracking tackle was made. It’s worth seeing though, and former boxer Ah You’s story is an interesting one.
Ah You made the move to Ireland after not quite cracking the Crusaders or Super Rugby setup back home, despite having played for New Zealand at both u19 and u20 level.
After arriving in Ireland things weren’t entirely plain sailing, but they’re now starting to take shape and after 62 Connacht appearances – with 52 coming off the bench – he has now extended his deal and could possibly play for his newly adopted country very soon.
“My initial reaction was pure shock,” he told the Irish Times after hearing about his selection.
“You know: it can’t be true. It can’t be true. But yeah, it has slowly been sinking in..”
In December he signed a contract extension that means he’ll be with Connacht until 2016. It’s a long way from Christchurch but for Rodney, wife Bella and their children, it’s now very much home.
In October he qualified to play for Ireland through residency, and this could be the year that sees him wearing the colours of the country he beat with the Baby Blacks at junior level in 2007.
“We made the big decision to move here from New Zealand over three years ago and we’ve never looked back. Galway is our home. It’s where our two boys were born and we love it here,” he said.
While it might be some time before he’s a regular fixture in the Ireland squad, with hard hitting tackles like this he’s sure to get the attention of the Ireland coach, fellow Kiwi Joe Schmidt.