Hawera turns to Lealiifano for guidance

Date published: March 7 2017

Brumbies fly-half Wharenui Hawera is relishing his role as chief pivot, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t glad Christian Lealiifano is back in town.

Hawera, who was recruited from New Zealand side Southland, has credited Lealifano for his solid start to the season, citing his constant guidance as a huge help as he finds his feet in Super Rugby.

“It’s good having Christian back full-time with us,” Hawera told the Brumbies’ official website.

“He’s been a big part of my journey here so it’s been awesome having him around. Whenever I have any trouble I can always ask him, he’s always there to help me. He’s been out on the field giving me advice so it’s been awesome.”

Speaking ahead of the Brumbies’ crucial Australian derby match-up against the Western Force on Friday, Hawera is feeling confident in his own ability.

When asked if his direct approach in attack was a natural part of his game, Hawera gave the simplest of replies.

“It’s been good, I’ve had a good pre-season and I’m stoked to have starts in both games,” he said.

“I’ve been pretty happy so far.

“I like to have a go. In attack it’s something that comes naturally, if I see a bit of space I try to back myself. When you’ve got outsides like Tevita (Kuridrani) and Henry (Speight) we try to get them the ball as much as we can.”

Despite being happy with his own game, the Kiwi playmaker has called on his team-mates to show better composure in key areas. Most importantly, between himself and halves partner Joe Powell.

“A lot of the time it’s around composure in different parts of the file, especially our exits,” added Hawera.

“Our 9 and 10 have to be composed and know what we’re doing in most parts of the field. We need to stay grounded and control those areas.

“Throughout pre-season we built that combination so it’s there. As soon as he (Tomas Cubelli) fell over I knew Joey could do the job.”