Warriors, Dragons, Jazz Tebhaga, 100 Games, Milestones

Milestone man Jazz Tebhagar, a few of the NRL’s Forward Warriors, is younger than Tebhagar, but with his giant Mওori and Samoan cousins ​​in the backyard, the footwork makes him tough to fight.

On his way to his 100-game milestone, Tebhaga has struggled with the likes of Jason Toumalolo, Nelson Asofa-Salomona and Reagan Campbell-Gillard, which he will face in the Warriors clash with the Dragons on Saturday.

Asked what it was like to be thrown around his 178cm, 98kg frame with the NRL’s biggest men, the 26-year-old laughed when he was reminded of the backyard footy as a child.

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“There are some big boys out there but I’ve been in the middle of my whole life, and one thing I’ve been doing since I was a kid is dealing,” Tebhaga said before his milestone match.

“I came from a footy background, everyone in my family played footy and I remember from a young age I was dealing with all my older cousins ​​in the background.

“So, it’s nothing new to me to deal with big guys. I like to get in there and get dirty with big guys.”

Born in Christchurch, Tebhaga is of Mওori, Samoan and European heritage.

He has played four Tests for Samoa but has his heart set on New Zealand, whom he hopes to represent at this year’s Rugby League World Cup.

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“The kids on the island – I don’t know what they eat, but they’re different from the average kid,” he said with a serious smile.

Tebhaga has been in a fight since the moment of his NRL debut.

He has memories of his first game against Melbourne at Mount Smart Stadium in Round Three in 2016, due to a head injury caused by a friendly fire from teammate Charlie Gabe.

Tevaga’s first NRL match goes to a highlight.

“I remember the race was over and there was a feeling of a full, packed Mount Smart Stadium,” Tebhaga said.

“I remember looking around and seeing Cameron Smith and I remember I finally made it.”

Tebhaga will be the 27th person to record 100 games for the Warriors, joining a list started in 1999 by club Great Stacey Jones.

Veteran halfback Shawn Johnson is the only current Warriors player in the 100-game club.

Those who are most important will be with Tebhagar for his special presence.

“I have a lot on my mind that reflects where I came from and how hard I worked to get here,” Tebhaga said.

“So, all my family and friends will remember me and I will play for them.”

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