TJ Perenara says he's "massively excited" to become a father after announcing on social media that he will become a first-time parent this year.

The All Blacks and Hurricanes halfback took to Instagram to tell followers: "Our little whanau is expanding. We are so happy to announce our pēpi will be arriving Aug 2020."

Shortly after the announcement, Perenara spoke to TVNZ Breakfast in a surprise interview, where he discussed the baby news, his upbringing, and growing up in Porirua.

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After Breakfast host John Campbell spoke about his admiration for Perenara, not just as an All Black but as a person, Perenara said it was passed down to him from his parents – something he would also like to pass on to his future children.

"My parents have always known that I love rugby and that I wanted to be an All Black for a long time but they've always said you have to be better man first, a better human first – that's the most important thing," Perenara said.

"It's something that I try to live by day-to-day. We all make mistakes, we all do things that we regret or we're not proud of but if you constantly try and be the best person every day, I think that helps."

Perenara and his wife Greer, who got married in January last year, are expecting their first child in August.

"We're very, very excited to be becoming parents, it's something we've looked forward to for a little while now," he said.

"I'm massively excited for that."

Perenara also spoke about growing up in Porirua and what's next after the All Blacks.

"It's something that I'm very opinionated about and something I believe strongly in," Perenara said.

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"I want people from Porirua, especially young people from Porirua to be proud to come from Porirua. I remember growing up, people used to talk down, and probably still do talk down Porirua. I guess it's an outside perception.

"I remember growing up, I used to tell people I'm from Porirua and they would look at me a different way, like, 'oh, you're from Porirua, that's a bit rough', but to me, I want people to be proud of that. When you say you're from Porirua, be proud of that because I am very proud of that.

"I get that rugby is what I do at the moment and I have to keep my main thing as the main thing but I want to use the vehicle of rugby to help influence Porirua and the kids of Porirua in positive ways."

Perenara and his wife Greer, who got married in January last year, are expecting their first child in August. Photo / Instagram
Perenara and his wife Greer, who got married in January last year, are expecting their first child in August. Photo / Instagram

Something else that he would like to pass down as a parent is te reo Māori, which he says he's been studying.

"Te reo Māori isn't something that I grew up with and it was something that I shied away from for a long time because I was probably embarrassed that I didn't speak the language," he admitted.

"I held that whakamamae [pain] on my shoulders for a long time.

"But I came to the realisation that through history and through things that happened, the language was diluted and wasn't taught to me – it's not my fault but it's now my responsibility to learn the language and to pass that language on to our future kids."