Feilding’s Howden on express path to the top
Te Kamaka Howden has made a quick adjustment as one of the youngest players in the Manawatū Turbos this season.
The 19-year-old has caught up with the seasoned players and is now a fixture in the starting side since gaining his first start against Counties Manukau in the fourth round of the season.
A Feilding local, Howden attended Feilding High School and spent his weekends shearing with his father in the woolsheds.
Howden has his family ready to catch him live in his hometown. With two of this season’s games to be played at Manfeild, he was looking forward to getting back to his roots, with friends and locals getting the opportunity to see another one of their own wearing the green jersey.
“I’m excited to play in front of my hometown, the 323 locals, people that I’ve known for years. I hope we can get it done for you,” he said.
Howden was still at high school and only 18 years old when he was signed by the Turbos and quickly thrust into pre-season training in December 2019 on the back of playing for New Zealand Secondary Schools Barbarians team.
He got a bit of a shock transitioning from high school to the squad but had an Academy Manager in Eneliko Fa’atau who helped him with some direction.
“Turbos training is a lot more physical than school. Club rugby gives you an idea of what to expect, but it’s much more than that.”
He said the culture in a team was what he looked for; a team that is easy to come into, to get along and train with.
As one of the youngest players in the team, Howden said that he had the opportunity to learn from some of his more experienced teammates.
He hopes that his youth, combined with the teachings from the other athletes will create an advantage for his career.
“I want to be successful in life. I want to feel happy and content with what I’ve earned.”