HE knows he's a very different player from the man who played fullback for Wests Tigers at the Auckland Nines last year, but young gun Delouise Hoeter is keen to make just as much of an impact at Eden Park as James Tedesco did in 2014.
Tedesco, whose spectacular long-range try against the Gold Coast Titans became one of the tries of the tournament, won’t feature in the Auckland Nines this year as he continues his recovery from knee surgery at the back end of last year.
And even though he won’t take the field, his skills and knowledge of the game will still come through at Eden Park — through the skills of the 20-year-old Hoeter.
“I’ve been finding it quite tough training at fullback this pre-season,” he reflected.
“It’s a lot more running than other positions, but it’s been really good.
"Fullback is a big position so I just want to do what I can and see where I can go with it.
“I’ve been talking with Teddy a fair bit about positioning and that kind of thing; he’s such a quality fullback that it’s been great to watch him and learn from him.
“I’m quite familiar with playing fullback — I played a fair bit there when I was at Mount Roskill and at Keebra Park — but it’s just those little key factors that I need to keep in my mind that I don’t necessarily have to do if I’m playing centre.
“Your support play has to be better, positioning needs to perfect, and a lot of that is what JT [Jason Taylor] has been helping me with.
"Training under him has really opened my eyes in getting myself to where I should be.