Former Magpies and now Tasman Mako loosie Hugh Renton will return to McLean Park today to vie for the Log o' Wood. He chats to Mark Story about family, futures and footy.
What have you been doing since leaving the Bay?
Hawke's Bay is my home and always will be. Having our farm with Mum still running it creates that environment and home to always come back to no matter how long you are away for. Since 2018 I've been based in Christchurch at Canterbury University and in 2020 Tasman gave me a chance to be a part of their great group and since then the team and coaches have been a big part of my ongoing professional development.
What do you miss the most?
The weather, family and being on the farm.
Your fellow Lindisfarne alumnus Izzy Dagg last week told us rugby's only 10 per cent of a player's life and doesn't define you. Do you agree?
I agree rugby doesn't define you, just like someone's office job doesn't define them. The person you are is most important. In terms of post-footy - I've always known playing rugby doesn't last forever. So I have been studying and got a degree under the belt in accounting, finance and psychology. I have other passions outside of rugby in business and life that I will look to develop more, but rugby is the focus right now because I'm still young and climbing the ladder. Eventually I may live back in Hawke's Bay on the farm.
What significance does McLean Park hold for you?
Hawke's Bay was a great place to be born and grow up in, playing in the Ross Shield and Lindisfarne 1st XV were great building blocks and wonderful memories for me. McLean Park was where I made my professional debut, it was the start of my career and I built some long-lasting friendships here so it's a special place for me.
Given your late father Paul played 44 games for the Magpies, what do you reckon he'd be thinking should you lift the shield this afternoon?
Dad would be supportive of me in whatever jersey I played in. I know he would be there at the game watching with Mum and cheering me on. He played in two Ranfurly Shield challenges in his time so it would probably bring back those good memories as well.