Kade Poki

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Kade Poki
Full name Kade Poki
Date of birth (1988-01-17) 17 January 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Blenheim, New Zealand
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 85 kg (13 st 5 lb)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Wing
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2013– Kubota Spears 10 (20)
correct as of 28 June 2014.
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2006–10
2011–12
Tasman
Southland
42
13
(35)
(0)
correct as of 4 November 2012.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2008–10
2011–13
Crusaders
Highlanders
15
27
(10)
(50)
correct as of 01 June 2013.

Kade Poki (born 17 January 1988 in Blenheim, New Zealand) is a rugby union player who plays for the Kubota Spears in the Japanese Top League. Prior to his move to Japan, he had represented Southland in the ITM Cup and the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition.

Playing career[edit]

Provincial Rugby[edit]

Poki made his Air New Zealand Cup debut for the Tasman Makos in 2007 against Taranaki, but injury ruled him out of most of the season. He emerged as a starter in 2008, and spent three seasons as a starter on the wing for the Makos and one of the side's more dangerous players.

For the 2011 ITM Cup, Poki signed with the Southland Stags, where he lined up alongside a number of his teammates with the Highlanders.[1] However, he never really hit his stride with in two seasons with Southland, playing just 13 games without scoring a try.

Super Rugby[edit]

Poki made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2008 when he played against ACT Brumbies. Aged only 20, he made 10 starts for the team over the course of the season and scored two tries, helping the team to the championship. However, injuries and squad depth limited his chances to build on his freshman season, and he made only 4 more appearances for the Crusaders over the next two seasons.

Poki was left off the Crusaders squad for the 2011 Super Rugby season, and initially not selected by any of the other New Zealand teams. However, an injury to Kurt Baker saw him added to the Highlanders squad on the eve of the season.

Despite initially being an afterthought addition, Poki made the most of his opportunity and claimed a starting spot on the wing for the Highlanders, and emerged as one of the breakout players of the competition. Highlights of his season include a two-try performance in a win over the defending champion Bulls and a sublime individual effort against the Rebels in which he shrugged off 11 tackles to score. With higher expectations for the 2012 season, Poki was hobbled by a knee injury and missed much of the season, and was limited to a single try. However, he would rebound in the 2013 season scoring 5 tries from just 8 appearances.

Japan[edit]

Following the 2013 Super Rugby season, Poki left New Zealand to sign in Japan for the Kubota Spears of the Top League.

International Rugby[edit]

Kade Poki was a star in the 2007 Under-19 World Cup for New Zealand, and again for the New Zealand Under-20 squad in 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Savory, Logan (9 July 2011). "Stags secure scorching wing Kade Poki". Southland Times (Fairfax). Retrieved 8 October 2011.