In 2014 Dane Coles cemented his reputation as a starter with a series of impressive appearances against more experienced opponents; an appropriate reward for a player who had been turning in high-quality work since his first class debut as a 20-year-old in 2007. His strength, mobility and speed have helped to redefine the qualities required for a modern international front rower, with an ability to break through tackles and flat foot defenders that sets him apart. He is a fan favourite for Wellington and the Hurricanes, where he turns in regular captain’s performances, leading from the front.
Fresh-faced Dane Coles literally burst on to the provincial scene in 2007, scoring two tries on debut off the bench for the Vodafone Wellington Lions against Otago late in the match, first crashing over from short range and then outpacing the cover defence in an electric run to the line from 40 metres out.
He had only been on the field for less than 30 seconds against Otago before scoring the first of his two tries and is only the second player after Steve Skinnon to score twice on championship debut for Wellington, Skinnon having done so against Taranaki in 1996.
Coles went on to make seven more appearances for the Lions in the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup and scored one further try against Tasman as he continued to set pulses racing whenever the action came his way. These included runs off the bench in each of the last five games in place of an injured Tone Kopelani and also included game time in each of the three play-off matches against Southland, Canterbury and Auckland respectively.
Coles made his first-class debut in 2007 and has also pulled on a black jersey for New Zealand Under 21 and for the Maori All Blacks in that team’s 2010 Centenary Series. He is one of the Hurricanes’ most popular players, with strong ties to community rugby in New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington.
v Scotland at Edinburgh, 11 Nov 2012
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All Blacks (2012-current)
Maori All Blacks (2010)
New Zealand Under 20 (2007)
Hurricanes Secondary Schools (2004)
Wellington Secondary Schools (2004)
Wellington College First XV (2004)
Horowhenua Secondary Schools (2003)
New Zealand Under 17 (2002)
Horowhenua Under 16 (2001, 2002)