The 17-year-old "Jonah Lomu" that left the Warriors million dollar man "clutching on air"

Publish Date
Thursday, 4 May 2017, 9:13AM
Photo / Getty Images - YouTube

Photo / Getty Images - YouTube

The Vodafone Warriors talent spotting brigade is out in full force and they may have just scored themselves the next "Jonah Lomu"

The Warriors have won a tug-of-war with rugby union to secure the services of the hottest teenage athletic prospect in Auckland.

Viral footage of Etene Nanai, a cousin of Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, former Chiefs' Samoan centre Tim Nanai-Williams and Blues outside back Melani Nanai, starring at centre for St Kentigern College First XV is wowing social media audiences and raising the question of who has nabbed the signature of the fast-rising 17-year-old.

Warriors back-rower Ryan Hoffman said Nanai made a big impression when he left star halfback Shaun Johnson clutching at air during pre-season training. 

"He stood out when he gave Shaun a bit of his own back," said Hoffman.

"We were doing a one- on-one defensive drill and he turned Shaun inside out so that certainly raised a few eyebrows.

"I don't think he could wipe the smile off his face after that."

Auckland-born and bred, Nanai was a standout at fullback in St Kentigern's 2015 Auckland 1A title win and is now proving a YouTube hit after dominating in midfield to help his side win last week's Presbyterian quadrangular tournament and a pre-season match against Christchurch Boy's High.

  • This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.