Siosiua Taukeiaho’s ability to blast through the NRL defences like a wrecking ball has caught plenty of opponents by surprise, but not teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Discarded by the Warriors after making his NRL debut in 2013 after an injury-plagued time at the Auckland-based club, Taukeiaho joined the Roosters the following year before playing his first game in the top grade for the Tricolours this season.
The 23-year-old from Auckland, who has played twice for Tonga, is on track for a New Zealand call up at the end of the season, according to Waerea-Hargreaves.
Roosters prop Waerea-Hargreaves, who hopes to be part of the Kiwis’ tour of England later this year, always expected big things from Taukeiaho and said his power was felt early by plenty of teammates and it’s no shock to see him putting blokes on their backsides.
“He’s done that all pre-season. For him it’s all confidence and being around the team,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.
“I think he started off as a winger-centre. We saw the size of him and said `come to the middle big boy, we could do with someone like you’.”
Taukeiaho produced another powerful display in the win over Wests Tigers on Friday night.
“Siosiua is playing outstanding and he just needs to continue doing what he’s doing and bring the right attitude each week,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.
“He’s got some skills, speed, footwork and some size … he’s going well.”
As for the Kiwi talent on display, Waerea-Hargreaves is very excited.
“There’s talent right through the competition. Siosiua is one of them and he just needs to continue playing the way he’s playing … hopefully he’ll be there (Kiwis’ tour) at the end of the year,” he said.