Vince Aso has made it clear. When faced with the option that so many before have been offered, Aso stays loyal to his Hurricanes team in Super Rugby; rather than seek riches offshore.
Known for his pace and strength, Aso has enjoyed success in the 2016 championship winning franchise. With both highs and lows, he has at times been the first choice inside and outside center, but has the utility to play on the wing and is an accomplished player under the high ball. And that was what made Aso an attractive for offshore suitors.
“I’m still young and I’ve got more goals to achieve here in New Zealand,” Aso told the NZ Herald. And rejecting offers from French rugby – that might be as much as $500k per season – shows his commitment.
Vince Aso Stays Loyal to Hurricanes
The Hurricanes center has been a project of head coach Chris Boyd. Signed in 2014, Vince Aso chose Wellington over the Auckland-based Super Rugby base. Choosing the Hurricanes then because Aso wanted to keep working with his New Zealand under-20s coach Boyd, but also because the Hurricanes offered the chance to learn his trade alongside Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
Boyd told the Dominion Post ”He’s big, strong, has good feet and has a really good work ethic for a young guy. His attention to detail was one of the reasons I was attracted to him working with him in the under 20s.”
With dreams of higher honours, he is prepared to stay in New Zealand and stake his claim. Playing for Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup, his success with the Hurricanes shows that he can meet the high standards required. And performance is the measure for continued selection. So Aso requires consistent displays at center and on the wing, to achieve that.
Selection and internal-competition for Hurricanes places
This means he must compete hard with Matt Proctor, to secure the first-pick role beside Ngani Laumape. The All Black is a high performing second-five, however the number 13 jersey has been rotated between Aso and Proctor. And waiting patiently, is Jordie Barrett. He has described how he has ambition to move into the number 12 jersey (possibly pairing with his brother).
If Aso can show his tremendous power to score tries – as he did in 2017 – it will help his cause. Originally selected as right wing, he secured more time in the midfield over the season. This year, he needs to show the ability to score, to help distribute and to assist in good performances, should help the young player toward his goals.
Vince Aso's #SuperRugby season so far:
— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) May 20, 2017
Loyalty must be rewarded, and if Boyd and newly elected 2019 head coach John Plumtree see Aso as the longterm option, then all parties can work toward an objective. Two victories from three matches, the sides 2018 goal must be focused on still by the entire squad. So the re-signing of Aso is a positive for the franchises future.
Aso wishes to join Hurricanes exclusive Club
“I want to make the hundy club with the Canes and it’s every kid’s dream to become an All Black. It’s a hard goal but achieving that one day would be awesome”. Aso is referring to 100 Super Rugby caps. A club of less than 14 members; added to by Beauden Barrett and . And with a clear goal, Aso must put in the work at training and in matches. Work that continues the coaches confidence in the 23 year old.
With the upcoming match scheduled against the New Zealand Conference leaders, the Highlanders, Aso must fight to secure his starting place. Under real pressure to start, that is the key to impressing the Hurricanes fanbase, and the selectors. At such at important match, All Black selectors will too be present.
Big matches like this; local derby games, are as close to an International standard that there is. Aso’s dreams can be instrumented at this stage. A selection to start the match is a primary goal. Then a command performance might cement his name as a possible ‘wider training squad’ member [even as difficult as it might be to break into the New Zealand team].
“That’s why I thought I’d hang around. If I keep putting in the work hopefully I’ll get a crack.”
As Vince Aso stays loyal to Hurricanes and to possible higher honours, it is a fine example for other players to regard. As talented, as as admired by foreign clubs as Aso is, his gesture is commendable. And his actions surely deserve the recognition of being selected to start in more games for the ‘Canes.
Hurricanes v Highlanders – Saturday 24 March. Westpac Stadium, Wellington
“Main photo credit”
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