George Konia

George Konia was a veteran of 96 first class matches and seven seasons of representative rugby when he played for the Hurricanes in 1996. Konia represented Manawatu in 57 matches between 1989-1992 and Hawke’s Bay 39 times between 1993-1995 prior to his only Hurricanes season, and captained the Magpies in 1996. During that time he also played for the New Zealand Colts, New Zealand Divisional XV, New Zealand Development XV, New Zealand XV, New Zealand Maori, New Zealand Barbarians, and was an All Black trialist.

A gifted centre, Konia was on the fringe of All Blacks selection and was on standby for the 1995 World Cup squad. But it was another country, Japan, that Konia made his mark in international rugby. Following a stint playing club rugby there, Konia played for the Cherry Blossoms in the 2003 World Cup in Australia alongside another former Hurricane Reuben Parkinson, scoring a memorable try against France in pool play. He spent eight years playing professional rugby in Japan, first with the Isetan club and then at the NEC Rockets who won the Japanese championship in 2005.

He returned home to be assistant coach of Hawke’s Bay in 2005 and 2006 -  helping the Magpies win the last ever division Two final over Nelson Bays in 2005 and helping run the backs in the inaugural ANZC in 2006.

In 2007 he returned to Japan to coach Kintetsu in Osaka. 

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