Ngani Laumape

Ngani Laumape continues to shine in Japan

In his second appearance for the club against Hanazono Kintetsu Liners the 29-year-old bulldozed his way to a hat-trick of tries to announce his arrival in Japan with a man-of-the-match showing.

His first of the day against the Liners was a typical piece of power running from Laumape, taking a direct carry off the scrum and powering through multiple defenders before reaching out to score.

The Kintetsu Liners struggled to contain the former All Black as his destructive running laid the platform for a 58-36 win for the two-time Japan League champions.

'I'll put my hand up for Tonga': Ngani Laumape eyes test rugby switch

The prospect of Laumape turning out for the ‘Ikale Tahi has been made possible by World Rugby after the game’s global governing body voted for a law change last month that enables test-capped players to represent a second country they are eligible for through birthright following a three-year stand down period.

That change in ruling, which comes into effect in January, means Laumape will become eligible for Tonga, his parents’ homeland, in 2023 – provided he doesn’t make an international comeback with New Zealand before then.

Ngani Laumape's message to World Rugby: 'Open up the eligibility rules'

Currently, once a player represents a nation at test level, they’re tied to that country for life unless they undergo a convoluted method to switch allegiances involving playing in a number of Olympics sevens qualifying tournaments.

Later this month, World Rugby will vote on whether to change the laws to allow players to change allegiances after sitting out a mandatory stand-down period of three years, provided that the player, their parents or their grandparents were born in the country they are looking to switch allegiances to.

Laumape set for last dance at the Cake Tin as the Hurricanes prepare to take on the Reds

Laumape, who made his debut for the Hurricanes in 2016 and featured eleven times in that title-winning season, will start at 12 in the Hurricanes’ final Super Rugby Trans-Tasman round robin match against the Australian champions.

The All Blacks midfielder will cap off six successful years in Wellington with the Canes, a period in which he made 83 appearance for the club (including three Super Rugby semi-final starts) and scored an impressive 47 tries, fifteen of which came in his outrageous top scoring season in 2017.

One All Black returns, another heads to France

Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara is heading home after his stint in Japan, signing a two year deal with the club and New Zealand Rugby, while his Hurricanes team-mate Ngani Laumape is heading to France to play for Stade Francais in the Top 14.

Perenara has completed his sabbatical with Japanese club he NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes following their quarterfinal loss on the weekend and will return to New Zealand.

Report claims Laumape in line for Top 14 move from Hurricanes

Parisian club Stade are on the hunt for a new centre as they will lose Gael Fickou to capital city rivals Racing at the end of this season and the soon-to-be 28-year-old Laumape, who has recently featured for the All Blacks under Ian Foster, is now on their radar according to Midi Olympique, the bi-weekly French rugby newspaper. 

Ngani Laumape breaks silence after missing out on All Blacks Rugby World Cup selection

Laumape failed to make the four-man midfield chosen by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen last month, which includes two-time World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Despite 108-cap veteran Owen Franks also missing out on the squad, the reaction to Laumape’s omission caused arguably the biggest stir on social media.

The Hurricanes centre hasn’t spoken to media since the squad announcement but has since posted to his Instagram.

Ngani Laumape called into All Blacks as SBW cover

Williams injured his shoulder in Sunday's 16-15 win over England at Twickenham.

Laumape was in the second string All Blacks side that beat Japan in Tokyo earlier this month.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen says Williams will stay with the squad but will be unavailable for this weekend's Irish Test.

Depending on his recovery, he is a chance for selection against Italy in the final match of the Northern Tour.


Laumape top of the pops

The 24-year-old walked away with the player of the year and best and fairest honours, to cap a campaign in which he made his All Blacks debut as well. 

On a night when the Super Rugby semifinalists sought to honour their achievers, there were also some emotional goodbyes. Seven of this year's squad won't be with the franchise in 2018, but none are as decorated as wing Cory Jane.

Laumape searching for space

The Hurricanes' second five-eighth probably didn't begin the Super Rugby season as a huge topic of pre-match discussions. Flatten enough opponents, though, and coaches will suddenly circulate clip after clip of you to their charges.

Give Laumape the chance to take a defender one-on-one and there's only one winner. But such has been his form this year, that those odds haven't been in his favour for a while.

"I've been noticing that and us, as a team, we know what we need to do better," Laumape said ahead of Sunday's semifinal against the Lions in Johannesburg.