The future’s bright for bustling utility back Vince Aso, now in his second season in the Hurricanes squad.
Out of St Peter’s College Auckland, Aso sprung to prominence in 2012 when he played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools side. The following year he debuted for Auckland and scored four tries in seven matches in the 2013 Mitre 10 Cup.
He was a member of both the 2014 and 2015 New Zealand U20 sides, playing under his soon-to-be Hurricanes coach, Chris Boyd during his first season in the team. New Zealand won the 2015 final against England in part courtesy of a piece of Aso magic. Down 3-10, Aso moved into second five-eighth in an injury change and immediately scored a 35-metre solo try that set up victory for New Zealand. His teammates included fellow 2016 Hurricanes Leni Apisai, Otere Black, James Blackwell, Geoff Cridge, Wes Goosen and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.
Aso has played both on the wing and in the midfield in his representative career to date, with centre being his preferred position. He is big and abrasive, with exceptional speed, nimble feet and fast hands – perfectly suited to the modern game.
In his debut season with the Hurricanes squad Aso sat on the reserves bench several times, but didn’t take the field. This year he was tossed the No 13 jersey previously worn by captain Conrad Smith and made his Super Rugby debut in the season opener against the Brumbies in Canberra.
It wasn’t the result the Hurricanes were looking for, but it began a steady progression for Aso, who is the incumbent second five eighth heading into the match against the Blues.
Aso hails from the famous Auckland club Ponsonby. He started playing rugby on the frosty fields of Western Springs aged five. His adopted club in Wellington is Petone, who are also steeped in history and tradition and his first match in Wellington club rugby was the famous McBain Shield clash between Petone and Hutt Old Boys Marist.
Outside of rugby, Aso is a part-time builder and studying for a Bachelor of Human Services at Victoria University. He is a cousin of Blues players Akira and Rieko Ioane.