Tremain looks to secure his own legacy

Getty Images

Lynn McConnell     23 May 2018     Getty Images

The squad has been preparing in Mt Maunganui ahead of flying out for the south of France and their base in Perpignan.


Tremain had surgery at the end of last rugby season on a shoulder that kept dislocating and he missed the side's first two camps while rehabilitation.

"I thought it would be a little bit unlikely but I was lucky enough to get the call," he said.

It helped that coach Craig Philpott lived in Hawke's Bay and he kept Tremain in the loop and let him know what the position was and that there was still an opportunity there.

A product of Napier Boys' High School, Tremain played a few years in the 1st XV, and was told he had some potential in the game. He had a couple of years in the Hawke's Bay Under-16s. He attended the Hurricanes skills camp and made the Hurricanes Under-18 side. He also attended the New Zealand Schools' camp but missed out on that team due to injury.

That injury has been fine since being back playing but during the final camp in Mt Maunganui he was recovering from a knock to his other shoulder suffered during the Oceania Cup tournament on the Gold Coast but it was progressing well and was nothing like the earlier injury, he said.

The obvious question with his surname, he was expecting it to be asked, surrounded his grandfather, the All Blacks legend Kelvin Tremain, one of the top try scorers in Test match rugby of his 1960s era.

"Obviously I take extreme pride from my family name but I'm not the first player to carry a famous family name into a rugby career so there's a little bit of expectation there in the name and having to carry that but I want to make my own legacy out of it," he said.
While never having met his grandfather, who died in 1992, Tremain said he has heard bits and pieces, and read a bit, while his parents Chris and Angela have told him some stories but outside of his grandfather's reputation he said he didn't know a huge amount.

Making a career out of rugby has been a goal and he acknowledged the support he had in Hawke's Bay, especially with the local rugby academy, but at the same time he has been working towards a career beyond rugby by doing a double major commerce degree in commercial law and economics at Victoria University in Wellington.

With that in mind he has study to do while away as he faces exams two days after the side returns to New Zealand.

In the meantime the concentration at the team's camp in Mt Maunganui has been on their development without looking too much at the opposition lying ahead. But the differences associated with northern hemisphere rugby sides would ensure some challenges ahead for the team.

The Oceania tournament won by New Zealand had been an important step for the side, especially with the progress the side made through their three games. That had been most noticeable in the step up from playing Fiji to the final against Australia.

He said the exercise from a personal viewpoint was outstanding and pulling on the black jersey for the first time had been an amazing experience.

France will not be new to Tremain as the result of two visits there, the first on a family holiday in Spain, the south of France and Italy and secondly as part of the world schools' orienteering championships in Paris.

Tremain took on orienteering to help with his fitness for rugby and was a member of the Napier Boys' High School team who won the New Zealand schools' championship and the right to travel to the world event in Paris where the school finished second. Tremain said he wasn't the top orienteer in the school but he got a ninth placing in the short and middle course event.

"Orienteering is an amazing sport. Clearly it's not a huge sport but I love getting out and experiencing some pretty amazing countryside and especially around Hawke's Bay it is pretty beautiful some of the places you get to go and run round that not many people have experienced.

"It's not just straight running, there's quite a lot of thinking to it as well and it's a huge sort of mental process being able to read a map, run and do it all at the same time and get it right," he said.

New Zealand kick off their World Rugby Under 20 Championships campaign against Japan at 7am on Thursday 31 May. Watch live on TVNZ Duke.