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Wednesday July 19, 2017

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From local rugby pitch to international match By Julia Czerwonatis

Hard-running centre Nick also plays for the Scotland Sevens squad and graduated from the Scottish Rugby Academy. PHOTO: Supplied

Ngauranga Gorge slip – it wasn’t a first

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“Slip on the road at Ngauranga Gorge closing the road” reads the caption to a report from 1960 in the Dominion Post. Photo: National Library of New Zealand, Bottom of Form

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The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) said good progress had been made on the Ngauranga Gorge slip, with work to remove areas of overhanging rock, now completed. All lanes leading through Ngauranga Gorge were closed after a slip on Tuesday, July 11, causing major traffic jams on Highway 1 and roads around the northern suburbs. All but one lane was reopened by Wednesday morning, July 12. NZTA reopened the southbound lane closest to the slip after a final tidy up also. Further work is needed to secure more netting to the slip site. “We’re really pleased with the progress that’s been made, with contractors working day and night to secure the slip site and keep people moving,” Mark Owen, NZTA Wellington transport systems manager, said “We’re on Wednesday really pleased that people have been taking great care when the lanes have been closed to allow the work to go ahead, and ask that drivers stay patient so the work can be completed.” It wasn’t the first incident at Ngauranga Gorge. On February 11, 1960, the Dominion Post and the Evening Post reported about a slip that closed the lanes.

“It didn’t really hit me until the players made me sing the national anthem solo in front of the entire bus driving to the game. And then they presented me with my jersey in the changing room – that’s when I realised I was going to be playing my first international game.” Nick Grigg grew up in Johnsonville and went to Newlands College. Today the 24-year-old plays for the Glasgow Warriors in the Scottish Rugby Union and has just played his international debut with the Scottish national team. “I started playing when I was five, my dad made me play,” Nick said. After playing for the Johnsonville Junior Rugby Club and Newlands College, Nick joined the Petone Rugby Club, “who were a premier one club at the time then,” Nick explained. He eventually joined the Hurricanes development team, the Wellington Lions. Nick’s amateur career took a U-turn after some of his friends loaded a “cringy highlights video” of Nick on Youtube. Former All Black Craig Dowd

saw the footage and put Nick in contact with a British agent. After a few test matches for the Glasgow Warriors, Nick signed up with the club at the start of the of the 2015/16 season playing 22 of 24 games. Nick’s good performance for Glasgow convinced Gregor Townsend his former Glasgow coach who had moved to the Scotland national team, to name Nick in the national team. His Scotland debut in Fiji was part of the third and final 2017 summer tour test match. “It was a tough game. We lost 27-22 to Fiji which was sad, but it was still awesome to play. “I sang the national anthem as loud as I could and just then immersed into the game,” Nick said. After spending a few weeks home, taking a break from rugby and catching up with friends and family, Nick is heading back to Glasgow this week to join the Warriors for another season. “I will be trying to make it into the Scotland team again. And then hopefully lead up to the next World Cup. I really want to play against the All Blacks one day.”

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Independent Herald 19-07-17  

Independent Herald 19-07-17

Independent Herald 19-07-17  

Independent Herald 19-07-17