Laumape looking for huge season after a challenging 2020

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Like all participants, he experienced the unusual occurrence of starting the traditional Super Rugby campaign, only to have it stop almost before it got into full swing as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.


He came back for Super Rugby Aotearoa, playing a role as the Hurricanes emerged as a key contender, managing a rare 34-32 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch.


But even that highlight was marred by a broken wrist that denied him the chance of playing a full part in the Test season that followed, his involvement being restricted to two games at the end of the winning Tri Nations campaign for the All Blacks.


It was no surprise then that Laumape said he enjoyed being back in the Hurricanes' environment, it felt like home and family.



In the absence of first five-eighths Beauden Barrett, now of the Blues but on sabbatical in Japan, and halfback and captain TJ Perenara in Japan also, Laumape said he was excited for whoever stepped into the leadership role in the side.


He was concentrating on his own game first and looking forward to playing with the new players who had emerged.


First five-eighths recruit, and former Blues and Auckland player, Simon Hickey had impressed with his calmness, something Laumape was familiar with having played with him for NZ Schoolboys. He was a great player but an even better bloke, he said.


"He's well respected in the team and to have an opportunity to play with him will be awesome."


Outside him, Peter Umaga-Jensen made significant career steps last season in making the All Blacks.


"Pete's a big, strong man so for me, just to see all his hard work pay off - he had a couple of injuries a couple of years ago - and to see him get his All Blacks jersey is a credit to him and his family and his partner. I'm just glad that I'm on his team because he's a hard man to tackle," he said.


With last week's news of Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Scheck having signed for the 2022-23 seasons with the Blues, Laumape wouldn't comment other than to say his own experience of the transition back to rugby was the importance in realising the differences between the codes.


But for now, all he was concentrating on was preparing for the season with the Hurricanes, and not what might, or might not, happen next season.



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