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Akira Ioane, who was born in Japan, has rugby in his blood with his father Eddie a former Manu Samoa lock, while his mother Sandra played for the Black Ferns and brother Rieko, is a current All Black.
The dynamic loose forward is a key member of the Blues in Super Rugby and has been knocking on the door of the All Blacks for a number of seasons. A seasoned campaigner with the Māori All Blacks, Ioane brings a physical and imposing presence to the loose forward trio combination.
As a teenager, Ioane was a stand-out for Auckland Grammar and the New Zealand Secondary Schools team before being snapped up by the All Blacks Sevens in 2014. He ended that sevens season helping the team winning their 12th World Series title and a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He was also a member of the All Blacks Sevens team that competed at the Rio Olympics.
Ioane's strong form for the Blues in 2020 was rewarded with a call up to North side for the highly anticipated North v South clash before earning a call-up to the All Blacks first squad of 2020. He made his All Blacks Test debut in the final Bledisloe Cup clash of 2020 in Brisbane.