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Rapid rise . . . Siua Maile was plucked from playing club rugby in Christchurch to test rugby for Tonga. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Chris Tobin

Former Timaru Boys’ High School first XV player Siua Maile is making a return visit to Timaru today (Thursday) after playing at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Maile (22), a Tongan international hooker, will visit his old school this afternoon and then attend a fundraising event at The Sail this evening, starting at 7pm.

Maile is an amateur player and had to take time away from his job as a roofer in Christchurch to take part in the tournament.

Maile made his test debut against the All Blacks just before the World Cup tournament. It was also his debut at first-class level. The All Blacks won 92-7 in Hamilton.

Maile was called into the Tongan squad as the third-choice hooker when injuries struck.

In the World Cup, Maile played against the United States in a 31-19 win and came on for the final 20 minutes against eventual runner-up England, which ended in a 35-3 loss.