Taufua eyes Samoan Test option

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Taufua was named in the All Blacks squad for the June series in 2018 but tore a calf muscle at the side's first training run. Then in the Super Rugby semifinal of the same year he broke his forearm and missed the chance for selection for the Investec Rugby Championship.

 

"I am still eligible for Samoa so we'll see what happens. I'm just concentrating on giving my all for Leicester. It would be amazing to win championships in both hemispheres, but first, it's all about smaller steps," he told The Rugby Paper.

 

Taufua also believes his former Crusaders coach Scott Robertson would increase his credentials for the All Blacks coaching role by taking up a role in England's Premiership.

 

Taufua said he thought Robertson would be a 'smash-hit' in the Premiership although he felt Robertson's time would surely come in the All Blacks coaching role.

 

"Razor's accomplished a lot in Super Rugby so if he did come here, he'd definitely make a difference.

 

"With his personality and energy and good views on the game, he would bring something a bit different and that could benefit him in the future," he said.

 

"New Zealand been the best team in the world for such a long time and it's the hardest job to get. Scott had a good chance and that's not to say he won't be there in the future, but a stint in Europe might help him."

 

Taufua said after seven seasons and 100 games of Super Rugby he had transferred to England simply for a new challenge.

 

"When you've done so long in Super Rugby you need to freshen up and Leicester, with the history they have, is similar to what we had at Crusaders.

 

"That definitely got me interested so I was glad to come over at the end of the Mitre 10 season and I aim to make a difference whilst keeping my rugby fresh.

 

"It's really physical here with bigger men to shift, and you're feeling everything for a few days after games. I woke up the day after playing Exeter and couldn't even move – that's the biggest difference," Taufua said.

 

But he felt the set-piece orientation of games suited his style of play.

 

Having played in a non-relegation competition like Super Rugby, and in a well-performed side like Tasman, dealing with relegation woes had never been a problem, but it was something Leicester were having to cope with this season.

 

Avoiding relegation involved improving as a team, making the form they had shown in parts of games more complete and consistent and to get better each week by continuing to work hard.

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