Solomon King harbouring new goals

By Kelly Exelby

He's spent eight seasons running around Bay of Plenty rugby grounds and it's hard for Solomon King to think of it as anything but home.
But that's about to change for the 25-year-old, who spent this week training with the New Zealand sevens team in Tauranga.
King has signed to play with North Harbour in this year's ITM Cup, after 41 games for the Steamers. He'll leave as soon as he gets back from the next two rounds of the IRB sevens circuit in England and Scotland.
"I'm still living here and commuting once a week up to Harbour to show my face and get to know the guys but I'll look to move up when I'm back," King said.
"I'm really sad to go because I've built a really strong bond with the guys in the Bay and I'll lose my fishing partner Tanerau (Latimer). But there's a great opportunity up there for me, if all goes well. It's something new and something different."
King's problem is Bay's riches in the loose forwards, with Latimer, Sam Cane, Luke Braid and Colin Bourke all jockeying for position.
A string of injuries - he managed only seven games last season - has also hurt King's chances but he hopes the Harbour shift will revitalise his career.
"I weighed up different areas - Harbour is down on loosies and if I play well and stay fit, hopefully I'll get that chance to play more. To make Super 15, you've got to be playing NPC. It's hard to get game-time when you've got all those Super 15 players in front of you, when they're always playing well."
King is likely to play his club rugby for North Harbour Marist and hopes to have more luck than former Steamers teammate Cory Aporo, who also joined Harbour this year. Aporo wrecked his knee playing for Silverdale last week and could miss the whole provincial season.


King's most pressing appointment was helping the New Zealand sevens team seal the world title, however. They're 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals England, having won four of the first six tournaments in the series.
Coach Gordon Tietjens is expected to name his 12-strong touring squad today, though he's not taking the challenge lightly.
"England are really talking it up, trying to win their home tournament, and there are five or six teams in total that could win it," Tietjens said.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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