Mr. Reliable Shannon Paku retired from the Hurricanes and Wellington rugby to take up an overseas contract at French Top 14 side Montauban following the 2008 Super 14 and his international calendar with the New Zealand Maori side.
A fleet-footed attacking outside back and dependable defender, Paku deservedly reached the milestone of 50 appearances for the Hurricanes in 2008 after debuting in 2002.
From the Wairarapa where he played flanker at school, Paku also gave reliable service to the Wellington Lions in the NPC from 2000, as well as one season with the Blues and Auckland in 2003.
A product of the Wellington Rugby Academy, Paku arrived at the Hurricanes after starring for the New Zealand Colts in the IRB U21 World Cup in Australia in 2001, after making his NPC debut for Wellington the previous year. He was also a regular New Zealand Maori representative since 2004 and was a member of the team that was victorious in the Churchill Cup in 2006.
Fullback was Paku’s preferred position, where he started every game for Wellington in the 2004 NPC upon his return from Auckland, but he was equally at home on the wing where he played many of his games, scoring seven tries from the flanks in the 2007 NPC. Paku passed 100 combined appearances for the Hurricanes and the Lions during the 2007 Super Rugby season.
Paku returned home with his young family from Montauban and for Manawatu in the 2010 ITM Cup.
In late 2012 he took up an assistant coaching role in Wellington club rugby with the Old Boys-University club, the club he played for when breaks from representative duties allowed.