Dane Coles's elevation to the All Blacks for their 2012 end of year tour to Europe was richly deserved for the dynamic hooker from the Kapiti Coast. Coles came off the bench to make his Test debut in New Zealand's 51-22 against Edinburgh against Scotland. He went on to play in Test wins against Italy and Wales.
Injuries curtailed his 2013 Super Rugby season for the Hurricanes, a year in which he surpassed 50 caps for the franchise.
But he returned to the All Blacks fold in 2013 and played in nine further Tests, including three starts in the hooker's jersey. His rapid elevation was best summed up by being on the end of the chain to hand Ryan Crotty the winning try in the 81st minute in the 24-22 win over Ireland in their final match of the year.
In 2014 Coles became a mainstay of the All Blacks pack.
Against the Chiefs in 2012, Dane Coles was the try-scorer in one of the Hurricanes' most memorable wins, coming up with the ball after scoring their 84th minute match winner in their final game of the season. The try and resultant 28-25 win gave the Hurricanes hope for the playoffs before other last round games conspired against them. Coles' last act of the season was great reward for the Kapiti Coast-raised hooker who consistently stood out around the field all campaign, starting in every match.
Livewire hooker Coles has a habit of scoring memorable tries, scoring two tries in his NPC in 2007 against Otago, and another in his first Super 14 game for the Hurricanes against the Waratahs in 2009.
Coles joined the Hurricanes for the first time in 2009 after two eye-catching seasons playing for the Wellington Lions in the NPC.
Fresh-faced Coles burst on to the NPC in 2007 with his brace of tries on debut off the bench for the Lions against Otago. While Coles' stunning debut raised many eyebrows it surprised no one who'd been watching all season in Wellington after an outstanding year in which he also made the New Zealand U21s. He was named Wellington rugby's most promising player of the year in 2007 and maintained his electric form throughout 2008.
In 2005 he was part of the New Zealand under-19 team that travelled to South Africa to compete in that age-group's World Cup.
He had been on the field for just a short time in his debut ITM Cup match before scoring the first of his two tries against Otago. He is only the second player after Steve Skinnon to score twice on championship debut for Wellington, Skinnon having done so against Taranaki in 1996. Two others namely Emosi Koloto and Sam Doyle also did the double on debut for Wellington in 1987 and 1994 respectively, but both had represented Manawatu in their previous season.
He also scored two tries for the Wellington Lions in 2009 NPC semi-final against Southland that helped the Lions book their second successive final berth against Canterbury.
He played nine of 13 matches for the Hurricanes in 2010, but playing behind skipper Andrew Hore all these caps were off the substitutions bench.
Coles was selected in the New Zealand Maori squad at the end of May 2010 and played in their triumphant centenary series of matches against the New Zealand Barbarians, Ireland and England.
He reached the milestone of 50 caps for the Lions in the 2010 ITM Cup, celebrating with a win over Canterbury.
Coles again backed up Hore in the front row in 2011, but with Hore's departure in 2012 he stepped up into a more prominent role and shone.
In June 2013 he re-signed with NZ Rugby for at least another two years.