IRANZ Graduate TJ Perenara to captain the Hurricanes in season opener

“This boy has what it takes to go on and play professional rugby”. Boy, was he right.

Written word-for-word in his Course Assessment, IRANZ Staff Coach Jeff Wilson spoke highly of a young TJ Perenara of his time at IRANZ.

As a Wellington student, TJ Perenara attended the Advanced Players Course in August 2008.

IRANZ Graduate TJ Perenara
IRANZ Graduate TJ Perenara attended our Advanced Players Course in 2008

Described in his Course Assessment as a “courteous, well-mannered young man”, TJ worked hard at IRANZ and impressed the Staff Coaches, which included former All Blacks Jeff Wilson, Christian Cullen, Scott Robertson and Eroni Clarke.

While they predicted big things for this bright young lad, surely not one of them could have accurately predicted exactly what was in store for TJ.

Now at 25 years old, Perenara has had 80 caps for the Hurricanes, and 29 caps for the All Blacks – and shows no signs of slowing down.

Having captained the Hurricanes multiple times in 2016, TJ will captain the Hurricanes once again in their season-opener this weekend against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

TJ is just one of the nine All Blacks in 2016 that were coached at IRANZ. Other All Blacks to attend IRANZ include Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Charlie Faumuina, Ardie Savea, Julian Savea, Liam Squire, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, and finally Codie Taylor – who actually attended the same course as TJ in August 2008.