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A LIVEWIRE halfback and extraordinary scavenger of the ball, the competitive Thomas “TJ” Perenara has been at the top of his game for close to a decade.
An All Blacks debut was some time coming for Perenara, who was named in two squads and spent time on the bench in 2013 before he finally got the chance to make his debut in 2014.
Perenara’s powerful pass and his attacking abilities – in particular, his ability to spot and take gaps in opposition defensive lines – are a key asset.
His outstanding potential was first spotted at secondary school level, and he has always made the most of his opportunities, whether with Wellington, the Hurricanes or the All Blacks.
While at Mana College in Wellington, Perenara was part of the New Zealand Schools side in 2009 and 2010 and made his debut for the Wellington Lions. He won the 2011 Junior World Championship with New Zealand Under 20, alongside several of his All Blacks teammates.
Perenara had a hugely satisfying 2016 with regular Tests under his belt and a Super Rugby Champions medal hanging up at home.
In October 2017, Perenara announced his long-term commitment to NZ Rugby by signing through to 2021.
In 2020, Perenara earned the starting halfback role for the North in the highly anticipated Steinlager North v South clash.
He took a sabbatical in Japan in 2021 before returning to the All Blacks squad for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.
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