There is no place like home - just ask All Black halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi who has signed to play for the Bay of Plenty Steamers.

The 25-year-old always had plans to return to his hometown of Rotorua to play rugby and work with younger players, a decision driven by family.

The Rotorua boy played his age group rugby for Bay of Plenty before taking his opportunities elsewhere after leaving school.

"There is a saying 'there's nothing like your actual home', and I've always wanted to come back to the Bay. I didn't know when, but the time feels right."


The three-test halfback said spending more time with his young family was a strong motivation for his switch from Taranaki back to the region.

"I've got a wife and a little boy who live in Rotorua. So, it's kind of tough to not see them during Mitre 10 Cup. That was a massive reason why I wanted to come back to the Bay."

Tahuriorangi played 20 games for Taranaki and said the Taranaki coach understood and respected his decision.

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi with his son Thomas, 6 (left) and his niece Diamond Cherrington, 6. Photo / File
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi with his son Thomas, 6 (left) and his niece Diamond Cherrington, 6. Photo / File

"I was having a good talk with the coach at the time, maybe last year, I said to him, I've been with Taranaki for five years and I think it's about time I go back home, to see my little boy grow up.

"Obviously, the Bay is doing well. So, it's awesome to come back into an environment like that. He just understood from there it's always been about my family."

Tahuriorangi said he was looking forward to getting alongside his team-mates and excited to get the opportunity to help develop the young rugby talent in Rotorua.

"The Steamers are in a good place at the moment, especially depth-wise. My ultimate goal is just to make sure I bring value.

"I'm wanting to grow my game, by trying to help the younger generation, especially around Rotorua. To show them, you can come from a small city or town and still be able to fulfill your dreams."


Bay of Plenty head coach Clayton McMillan has been in discussions with Tahuriorangi over the last two years to try lure him home, and would make a great decision to the team.

"He took opportunities elsewhere after leaving school and has developed into a quality player and man," McMillan said

"He has played at the highest level. He is a dynamic player who can break a game open through his speed and instinctiveness, so he will certainly add value to the way we want to be playing.

"More importantly, he will be a fantastic mentor for some of the younger players in our environment and no doubt the wider rugby community".