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Well traveled prop Angus Ta'avao is living proof that hard work and patience can pay dividends.
Born and bred in Auckland, Ta'avao first came to prominence when he played for New Zealand Under 20 in Argentina in 2010 and made his debut for the provincial side in the same year.
He signed for the Blues for the 2012 Investec Super Rugby season playing for the side through to the 2015 season before looking to further his opportunities in Australia. He played for the Waratahs for two seasons before heading back home to play for Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup, but without a Super Rugby contract in 2018.
A timely call from Chiefs coach Colin Cooper saw him play in every game during their Super Rugby campaign alongside All Blacks teammate Karl Tu’inukuafe before being called into the All Blacks after an injury to prop Joe Moody.
He made his Test debut off the bench against Argentina in Buenos Aires, where he played a key role in the dominating forward pack, earning a starting spot in his second Test match against Japan in Tokyo.
Ta'avao made 11 appearances for the All Blacks in 2019 but missed selection in 2020 before being recalled for the Steinlager Series in 2021.