Tuesday 20 February 2018

Toma will be ready when called upon

Munster's Te Aihe Toma. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster's Te Aihe Toma. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Versatile Munster half-back Te Aihe Toma says he is thrilled to be playing rugby in the northern hemisphere.

The 23-year-old, who can play at scrum-half or out-half, made one replacement appearance for the senior side since he arrived on loan from Bay of Plenty in November, and he says he is chomping at the bit to get another run-out for Rassie Erasmus' side.

Munster were short of scrum-halves when back-up No 9 Cathal Sheridan broke his leg playing for UL Bohemians, and Ireland's Conor Murray was away on international duty, and Toma answered the call to travel north.

"I am really loving it, especially in this part of the world. Coming from New Zealand, it's a different experience and I am loving it," said Toma.

"Scrum-half is my preferred position but because of injuries and that sort of stuff I have managed to slip in at first-five, or fly-half as well.

"Going back to my childhood roots, as a kid I was playing with the ball, kicking it when I was little.

"I was playing touch, which also develops good skills around passing, technical footwork as well so that helped me out in the game."

Te Aihe Toma is a native of Hamilton in New Zealand, and has made 34 appearances for Bay of Plenty, along with three Super Rugby caps.

Since he arrived in Munster he has played mostly for the B&I Cup side who qualified for the quarter-finals of that competition last weekend, and Te Aihe Toma says it's a different style of rugby.

"Here it is a lot more set-piece-focused, so scrums, mauling, lineouts, they are the key focuses here.

"Back home it is more of unstructured stuff, so set-piece would be more like a restart for us rather than a go-to."

Irish Independent

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