10 things you need to know about...Elliot Dixon

By Chris Rattue

Elliot Dixon. Photo /Getty
Elliot Dixon. Photo /Getty

All you need to know about latest All Blacks debutant Elliot Dixon - who will become All Black 1149 on Saturday against Wales.

1) The 26-year-old rose through the Canterbury system but the national age group star quit for Southland in late 2009. "I thought I'd try to get some NPC game time rather than wait another three years or something in Canterbury," he said at the time.

2) Dixon came to prominence while playing for St Bede's College, the Christchurch school whose other All Blacks include Jon Preston, Andy Earl, Vance Stewart, and current Chiefs assistant Kieran Keane.

3) There were tears all round when he told his parents of selection in the squad to play Wales. "They started crying, which was quite emotional for me as well.''

4) Dixon made the 2007 national schools side which played Samoa and Australia. His team mates included current All Blacks Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Charlie Ngatai.

5) He came off the bench in the under-20 World Cup side when they beat England in the 2009 final in Japan. That team was coached by Dave Rennie and Aaron Cruden was the star turn.

6) Partner Paige Smith gave birth to their first child Huxley in June last year and they have another boy on the way.

7) Dixon was man-of-the-match when the Highlanders beat the Hurricanes in last year's Super Rugby final. The highlight: he initially beat a couple of defenders on a 20 metre run which ended with him scoring in a pile of five defenders. TV commentator Ian Smith reckoned it was a big game moment which "says to people higher up I'm ready if you want me".

8) Dixon's heritage is Ngapuhi - the Northland iwi - and he first played for New Zealand Maori in 2012. His family comes from around the Waimamaku Valley in Hokianga and he is part of the Paniora whanau.

9) When asked what he would be doing if he wasn't a rugby professional, Dixon replied: "I would be poor."

10) Dixon's trademark look involves a thick band of black electrical tape around his head. When praised for the look, Dixon tweeted humorously: "thanks for the love of my head band alot goes into it . Time and effort . Glad it's finally paying off".

- NZ Herald

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