A South African loose forward named at number eight for Horowhenua-Kāpiti tomorrow has taught the rest of the "losvoorspelers" in the team his native tongue.
Nardus Erasmus, 24, who last season played Currie Cup for the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, said he enjoyed the opportunity to bring some of his culture to the team and had taught the other loose forward, or losvoorspelers, rugby terms in Afrikaans.
He wasn't the only one to share his language. At the beginning of the season, to celebrate the multi-culturalism within the side, the management team held language lessons.
Coach Chris Wilton said the tight forwards, loose forwards, inside backs, outside backs all learnt the names of their positions in Afrikaans, Fijian, Tongan, Samoan, Māori and Japanese.
"It's our team culture. We're all brothers in the Nua. We're the United Nations. It's good to bring all these cultures together," he said.
It was a stroke of fate brought Erasmus to Horowhenua. He originally moved to New Zealand with his fianceē Nicole Walraven, a South African hockey representative who plays her off-season for Central in Palmerston North.
Walraven is in the South African hockey squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Erasmus played his club rugby for Feilding Old Boys, and a shoulder injury late in the club season meant he was not considered for the Turbos, and brought him under the radar of the Horowhenua-Kāpiti selectors.
"I'm loving it. There is a very good vibe here," he said.
Meanwhile, Horowhenua-Kāpiti plays Wairarapa Bush in Masterton this weekend. There are few changes to the team that beat Poverty Bay last weekend.
Nathan Kendrick moves from hooker to the openside flank ahead of Logan Broughton, while Erasmus comes back to the team at number eight, forcing Thomas Zimmerman to the reserves. Robin Praat starts at prop ahead of Jordan Tupai-Ui.
In the backline, Ethan Reti returns at first five-eight for Pakai Turia and Dylan Taylor is on the wing for Willie Paia'aua.
Meanwhile, there will be the added bonus of silverware with two trophies on the line. Both the Bruce Steele Memorial and PGG Wrightson Cups will be near the sideline, with the winner of the match taking both cups home.
Horowhenua Kāpiti holds the PGG Wrightson Cup, played against Wairarapa Bush, while the Bruce Steele Memorial Cup, currently held by Wairarapa Bush, is played between Horowhenua-Kāpiti, Wairarapa Bush and Wanganui.
HKRU is putting on a supporters bus, leaving at 11am and returning back to Levin around 8:30pm - 9pm, after a stop in Pahiatua.
Payment and pick up-drop off location are required when you book. $20, or free for 2019 supporters club members.
Horowhenua-Kāpiti: 1 Robin Praat. 2 Dean Ropata. 3 David McErlean. 4 Tuitonga Katoa. 5 Tainui Woodmass. 6 Aaron Lahmert (c). 7 Nathan Kendrick. 8 Nardus Erasmus. 9 Kane Tamou. 10 Ethan Reti. 11 Himiona Henare. 12 Jaxon Tagavaitau. 13 Kameli Kuruyabaki. 14 Dylan Taylor. 15 Jono Ihaka. Reserves: 16 Tiwana Paringatai. 17 Jordan Tupai-Ui. 18 Joel Winterburn. 19 Thomas Zimmerman. 20 Shaun Gardner. 21 Logan Broughton. 22 Christian Tahiwi-MacMillan.