Akira Ioane, who was born in Japan, has rugby in his blood with his father Eddie a former Samoan international lock, while mother Sandra played for the Black Ferns.
The strapping loose forward has had a stellar 2015, making his debut for the Blues in the opening game of the Investec Super Rugby at home against the Chiefs this season. His strong form ensured he was seen regularly in the blue jersey while he was also a key player in the New Zealand Under 20 team which won the World Championship title in Italy in June.
As a teenager Ioane was a stand-out for Auckland Grammar and the New Zealand Secondary Schools team before being snapped up by the All Blacks Sevens in 2014 making his debut at Sevens Wellington. He ended the sevens season helping the team winning their 12th World Series title and a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
News 17.Feb.2016 See all news
Instagram handle: @akiraioane_
Rugby ground: Eden Park
Player (and why): Jerome Kaino, because he is an all-round professional
Other sports: Waterpolo, touch and athletics
My best rugby memory was... beating Sacred Heart in 2012
The biggest influence on my rugby was... my mum and dad
If I could meet one person, it would be... Kevin Hart because he looks like a funny guy
I hate it when... People wake me up
I can't live without... my phone
If I wasn't a rugby player I would be... a student