Meet the Exile Blacks - Kiwis turning out for other rugby nations

2019-02-27 18:32:24

Wales' win over England raises the chance of more Kiwi exports tasting Six Nations grand slam glory for a second consecutive year.

In 2018, Auckland-born former Chiefs utility back Bundee Aki won the title with Ireland – coached by New Zealander Joe Schmidt.

Another Kiwi, ex-All Black hooker Warren Gatland, could lead Wales to a grand slam in 2019 if they win their final two Six Nations games against Scotland and Ireland.

Gatland's group includes two Kiwi hired help, first five-eighth Gareth Anscombe (who has a Welsh mother) and midfielder Hadleigh Parkes (who qualified under World Rugby's three-year residency rule).

Parkes – from Hunterville (just over an hour's drive from Joe Schmidt's home town of Woodville) – made his Wales debut as soon as he was eligible, in November 2017.

The 31-year-old earned rave reviews for his performance in last weekend's 21-13 win over England.

Parkes was named at second five-eighths in Planet Rugby's Six Nations Team of the Week.

The global rugby website claimed the Kiwi "must take a good slice of the credit" for Wales' limiting English midfielder Manu Tuilagi's impact at Principality Stadium.

"His solid defence and hard running kept England occupied as he formed a strong midfield combination with Jonathan Davies," Planet Rugby noted.

The success of Parkes, Anscombe and Aki in Europe underlines why New Zealand players are highly sought by other rugby nations.

Here's Stuff's EXILE BLACKS – a team of New Zealanders with a collective total of 442 caps for other test nations.


The Hawera product played as a midfield back for his native Taranaki, the Highlanders and the Hurricanes before moving to northern Italy to join Benetton Treviso in 2014. Now Italy's first-choice fullback in the Six Nations, he rated playing against the All Blacks in Rome last November as a career highlight. 15 tests 0 tries. Age: 32.


The Kilted Kiwi qualified for Scotland immediately on arrival at the Glasgow Warriors in 2012 after winning titles in New Zealand with Canterbury and the Crusaders. Tokoroa-born Maitland (a cousin of Wallabies pivot Quade Cooper) has Glaswegian grandparents. He's scored 11 tries in 39 tests since 2003 and now plays for English champions Saracens. Age: 30.


After a much-travelled rugby career which took in Manawatū, Auckland, the Blues and the Hurricanes a season in South Africa with the Eastern Province Kings, Parkes has found his niche at Welsh club Scarlets. Snapped up by Wales as soon he became eligible, he partners British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies for club and country. 13 tests, three tries. Age: 31.


Left Counties Manukau in 2014 after winning Super Rugby honours with the Chiefs. Now a cult figure at Connacht, on Ireland's west coast where he helped the Galway-based club win the Pro 14 title under Pat Lam. Joe Schmidt had his eye on Aki before he qualified for Ireland in 2017. Now established in midfield alongside the talented Garry Ringrose, Aki has tries in 12 tests. Won a Six Nations gold medal in 2018 and starred in Ireland's first home win over the All Blacks in Dublin.15 tests, three tries. Age: 28.


A rugby league convert who played first XV rugby union at Auckland's St Peter's College before being snapped up by the NRL's Melbourne Storm. Joined the London Broncos in 2014 and moved on to the Castleford Tigers where he broke a Super League season record with 37 tries in 2016. Quit his Castleford contract in late 2016 to join the Sale Sharks rugby union team. After one rugby league cap for Samoa in 2016, Solomona made his England rugby debut in 2017. The brilliance of Jonny May has limited the Kiwi to five tests (one try). Age: 25.


The Aucklander starred in New Zealand's 2011 Under-20 Rugby World Cup victory, but was always on Wales' radar due to having a Cardiff-born mother. After Super Rugby duty with the Blues and the Chiefs, Anscombe signed for the Cardiff Blues in 2014 and made his Wales debut in 2015. Able to play fullback or first five-eighth, he has won a regular start in the No 10 jersey in the 2019 Six Nations and now has 24 caps and 45 points, though he is still seeking his first test try.  Reportedly the target of a near-$1 million year contract offer from English club Bath. Age: 27.


The under-rated evergreen halfback made his mark in New Zealand for Tasman, Hawke's Bay and the Crusaders. Moved to Welsh club Ospreys in 2011 and spent four seasons with the Northampton Saints before transferring to Bath in 2016. Has had 35 caps (5 tries) for Manu Samoa and has captained the national team. Age: 36.


Hard-working back rower equally adept in the No 8 or blindside flanker roles. Christchurch-born, Leitch moved to Japan at 15 to study and play secondary schools rugby. The fluent Japanese speaker made his test debut for Japan in 2008, has 59 caps and 17 test tries. Spent three seasons in Super Rugby with the Chiefs, but now plays for the Sunwolves. Captained Japan to the greatest upset in Rugby World Cup history - a win over the Springboks at Brighton in 2015. Age: 30.


Another New Zealander to capitalise on Scottish ancestry through a grandmother born in Fife. The Southlander won a Super Rugby title with the Highlanders in 2015 before heading north. Played for the Scotland at the 2015 Rugby World Cup before he clinched a club deal with Edinburgh. Banned by the Scottish Rugby Union for three months in November 2017 for alleged cocaine use, Hardie was released by Edinburgh in 2018 and has resurrected his career in England with the Newcastle Falcons. Three tries in 16 tests. Age: 30.


His England test call-up in June 2018 caused some controversy as he was still contracted to the Hurricanes in New Zealand despite agreeing a deal to join Wasps. Masterton-born to English parents, Shields won the Super Rugby title with the Canes in 2016 and often captained the Wellington-based franchise. Highly rated in NZ, but never got the All Black nod. Six caps since June 2018. No tries yet. Age: 27.


A big man - 2.03m and 122kg - Wellington-born Paulo locked the North Harbour scrum made his Samoan test debut in 2012 before heading offshore. Had two-season stints at the Cardiff Blues and Italian club Benetton before joining London Irish in 2017. 30 caps, 2 tries. Age: 31,


Whangarei-born lock played briefly for Auckland and the Blues and had a season with Northland before venturing overseas for the first time to Japan's NEC Green Rockets. Been at Benetton Treviso since 2012 and captains the club, coached by ex-All Black Kieran Crowley. Made his Italian test debut in 2017 and played against the All Blacks last November. Fully fluent in Italian. 19 caps, 1 try. Age: 32.


One of the biggest props in world rugby - at 156kg and 1.97m - Timaru-born Atonio attended Wesley College in south Auckland and was in the Counties-Manukau rugby academy. Represented Samoa in the 2009 under-20 Rugby World Cup, but was signed by French club La Rochelle in 2011. Been at the Atlantic Coast club ever since and won the first of 32 French caps in 2014. Yet to score a try. Now under pressure for the No 3 jersey from 20-year-old phenom Demba Bamba. Age: 28.


The most-capped Exile Black left Rotorua for England, his mother's homeland, at 15. Attended an East Sussex school and joined the Worcester Warriors' rugby academy. After one senior game for Worcester, he joined the Northampton in 2006, captaining the Saints to the 2014 English title. Won the first of 97 England caps in 2008. Appointed England captain by Eddie Jones in 2015. Only disciplinary problems have prevented him playing for the British and Irish Lions. Four test tries. Age: 32.


Traditionally a tighthead but a versatile fellow, now playing for Edinburgh. Berghan has had a meteoric rise, from club rugby in Christchurch to the Six Nations. Played for the Crusaders Knights Super Rugby back-up team, but never made the jump to the Canterbury NPC ranks before heading to the Scottish capital in 2014.  Berghan - who has a Scottish grandfather- made his Scotland debut in the 2017 Six Nations and has been part of a powerful scrum which has helped Edinburgh make the 2019 European Champions Cup playoffs. 17 caps 0 tries. Age: 28.


Motu Matu'u (Samoa), Jermaine Ainsley (Australia), Ben Tameifuna (Tonga), Brandon Nansen (Samoa), Teimana Harrison (England), Leon Fukofuka (Tonga), Quade Cooper (Australia), Ben Te'o (England).

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