All you need to know about Ulster's new man Stephen Donald
Most of us remember that Stephen Donald was the man to kick what turned out to be the winning points for New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup final. But what else do we know about the All Black?
As exclusively revealed on the Belfast Telegraph website yesterday by our man Jonathan Bradley, we know he's heading to Ulster for the remainder of the current season. But here's a lot more about Stephen Donald:
Stephen Donald in profile
Physical stats: 1.86M, 96KG
Domestic career: Donald began his senior career in his home Counties Manukau before moving on to the Waikato province and their Super Rugby side Chiefs. A spell in Bath followed his World Cup win in 2011 before he headed off to Japan's Top League with Mitsubishi Dynaboars in 2013. A return to the Chiefs included a captain's performance in the 40-7 win over Wales in 2016. He was enexpectedly left out of the Waikato squad for the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup, in which he played instead for his native Counties Manukau Steelers, honouring a promise to his father. Donald has most recently been playing for Toshiba Brave Lupus back in Japan.
His previous spell in Europe: It didn't set the world, or even Bath, alight. He scored only two tries and contributed 79 points in 22 matches.
All Black caps: 23
Career highlight: In fairness, kicking the winning points in the World Cup final would be hard to top. Especially given that he started the tournament on a fishing holiday, which was cut short due to injuries to the legendary Dan Carter and his deputy Colin Slade. Here's the big kick in all its glory:
Style of play: According to the official All Blacks website, Donald is "energetic and reliable" and, back in his homeland, is "extremely popular because of the accuracy of his passes and his kicks."
Links to Ulster: Donald will become the second member of the 2011 World Cup winning squad to represent Ulster after prop John Afoa, now of Gloucester, and he has worked with Ulster's current head coach Jono Gibbes before, captained by his compatriot during his initial spell at Chiefs.
Why he'll be at home in Ireland: His favourite band is Irish rockers U2.
Game-day breakfast: Poached Eggs
Fun Fact: After his World Cup winning score in 2011, his home town went 'Beaver' mad. He returned home to find the town of Waiuku "named Beaverville, his local rugby club rebranded Beaver Park and the local newspaper printed as The Beaverville and Districts Post." (NZ Herald)
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