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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray on New Zealand's Olympics kit: Why the hype over a uniform?

The television buildup was more intense than Valerie Adams staring down the shot putt lane.

No fault of the Olympic committee but Seven Sharp made a meal out of a morsel. The games are a big deal and interest is building as Rio approaches but the breathless lead-up to the unveiling of some training gear was television duplicity.

From the studio hosts to the unfortunate crew on the ground at Sky City, there was an impression we would see something special rather than a range of practice kit. We got sports store uniforms with some different logos.

Either Seven Sharp had nothing else on their books, the Hosk was sick and ratings interest in his Brexit trip had dived through the floor or someone had sold a pup as a fully-grown mastiff to the programme.

For any number of reasons, Seven Sharp is not my appointment goggle-box viewing but it coincided with an evening meal and sporting curiosity.

The longer I looked at what became a series of promos or trailers until the "big reveal', the more I congratulated myself on my usual remote control choices.

Then there they were, drum roll and trumpets please....a range of training kits for New Zealand athletes. Talk that up team.

It feels like we've been through something similar with the Tongan Thor and hype about his rugby ability.

Taniela Tupou became an internet sensation in 2014 playing for Sacred Heart 1st XV in Auckland. He was a prop with lots of pace and a useful sidestep who swatted rivals away when he got the ball in the open. He did not sign an NZR agreement and hiked off the Queensland where other family members lived.

Tupou signed with the Reds and the hype went through the ceiling fans. What he wasn't going to do.

Not one game last year before he was drilled by All Black prop Joe Moody this year in a pre-season match. Now the 20-year-old has been picked on the bench for a probably Super rugby debut tomorrow against the Brumbies.

- NZ Herald

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