Stewart hooks Turbos deal
Sam Stewart has locked up his first Manawatu Turbos contract, now he is hoping his twin brother can follow suit. The 23-year-old Te Kawau hooker moved to Manawatu along with No 8 Jordan Stewart earlier this year after family friend Bryan Matenga suggested they give the Turbos a crack.
It has already proven a valuable move for the one-game Southland hooker who this week signed his 2018 Turbos contract.
“I needed a new challenge and I thought this was quite fitting for me,” he said. “I came up here and took the risk hoping to pursue my rugby career at the [Mitre 10] Cup level. It has paid off and I am really enjoying my time here.”
He is the second Turbos hooker under contract for 2018 joining Tim Cadwallader. Stewart did not take long to impress when he arrived in Manawatu with his hard-working attitude, aggression and accuracy at set-piece seeing him quickly be regular standout for Te Kawau.
He arrived a couple of weeks after brother Jordan, but quickly resumed the impressive combination they have together. “Mum won’t let us play against each other,” Sam joked. “We enjoy playing together. It is good because we bounce off each other. We thrive off how each other plays and we push each other as far we can.” He was hopeful his brother would be in green and white as well.
“It would be awesome for my mum and dad to have their twin boys in the same team. Usually it has been the other way around – he has made the teams and I have missed out. Hopefully he is not too far away. He is playing really well at the moment.”
The boys grew up in Southland. Sam spent three years in the Southland Boys’ High School first XV before playing for Star in the Southland premier club competition. In 2016, his career was put on hold by a broken leg when a teammate tackled an opposing player who feel onto his leg.
He spent one and half years on the side line with a broken tibia and fibula. But last year he got back on the field and found top form to make his provincial debut. He said he loves the grunt work up front. “As a hooker, you have to be able to throw and scrum, that is your basics. But I do enjoy running with the ball and tackling. My strengths are my aggression. I think I bring good intent into tackles, ball carries and everything I do.”
“But there are certainly plenty of things that I want to improve on. I want to learn and I have the right people here to give me great advice on how to further my skills to allow me to further my career.”