Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby World Cup

Why Peter Nelson won't be the only man getting Dungannon cheers when Canada play Ta'avao's All Blacks

Incredibly, Peter Nelson won't be the only man with Dungannon links on the pitch when Canada face Angus Ta'avao (inset) and New Zealand on Wednesday.
Incredibly, Peter Nelson won't be the only man with Dungannon links on the pitch when Canada face Angus Ta'avao (inset) and New Zealand on Wednesday.
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Dungannon native Peter Nelson will face the All Blacks at the World Cup tomorrow having retained his place in the Canada side for the contest in Oita (kick-off 11.15am UK time).

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

The former Ulster player, who left his native province after 60 pro appearances this summer, will again be at 10 having looked bright in his side's heavy defeat to Italy in Fukuoka last week.

Somewhat incredibly, Nelson won't be the only player with Dungannon ties on the pitch, Angus Ta'avao having been selected to start at tighthead for the back-to-back world champions.

The Chiefs prop spent a year in County Tyrone as a 'Dilworth tutor' at Royal School Dungannon.

James Dilworth was born in August 1815 and educated at Royal School Dungannon before moving to Auckland in his 20s, where he made his fortune.

Upon his death, his will stipulated a trust be established to set up a school in New Zealand and a policy of exchange students with Royal School Dungannon was soon established, one of which was Ta'avao after he arrived in 2008.

When Ta'avao played against Ireland in the Aviva Stadium a year ago, he had a group of supporters from his one-time home town and has proven popular in Japan too after a clip of him dancing when the Kiwi squad was being introduced on local TV was widely shared online.

Sign In

"When the music started playing, it was just me being me," he said.

"It was just a bit awkward with us standing there so I thought I'll just dance a bit, then what happened happened. It's pretty important to be yourself and have fun when it's time to have fun - but then you're back in the team, it's back to work."

Meanwhile, Beauden, Jordie and Scott Barrett will become the first trio of brothers to appear for New Zealand at a World Cup when they face Canada.

The Barretts will also become only the second trio of brothers to start a World Cup match for any nation, following Tongan siblings Elisi, Manu and Fe'ao Vunipola in the 1995 clash with Scotland.

The three Pisi brothers - Ken, Tusi and George - all played for Samoa against South Africa in 2015, but only Ken started that game.

New Zealand have made 11 changes for their second Pool B game in Oita.

Full-back Beauden Barrett, fly-half Richie Mo'unga, second-row Scott Barrett and No.8 and skipper Kieran Read remain from the side which beat South Africa 23-13 in their tournament opener.

Centre Sonny Bill Williams comes into the centre with Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane returns to the wing and TJ Perenara takes over at scrum-half.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph