He became an All Black before he got his full licence, but after passing the test yesterday 21-year-old Charles Piutau can drive away in his new car.
Blues rugby star Piutau, who has played three tests for the All Blacks since his debut against France in June, was nervous when he sat the morning test through the AA in Manukau City.
"Once the instructor gave me the piece of paper he didn't tell me that I had passed, so I had to read through all the paper until I saw the pass at the bottom and [I felt] this whole relief.
"I guess it's just one of those things [that] a lot of people procrastinate with and never really get around to doing it, so just that feeling of 'I don't have to worry about it' is pretty good."
After holding his restricted licence for about three years the test was no sweat, said Piutau, a member of the 2011 Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under-20s team and star of the Sevens team that won the 2011-12 World Series title.
"I guess it was like any other drive down the road but this time there was no music playing and there were a few cameras recording me," he said.
Not fond of being roped into designated driving or ferrying around passengers, Piutau had put off taking the test since leaving secondary school. But the lure of a free Ford Falcon F6 through an All Blacks sponsorship deal proved too much for the 1.8m tall, 94kg fullback.
"It's quite a nice sports car, it's the latest model, too."