Here are 12 things on new All Black Dalton Papalii (including why he loves the Wallaby captain):

1) Shock horror! Papalii has described Aussie captain Michael Hooper as his favourite rugby player, for his "relentless effort off the ball...a deadly player on attack and defence with the desire to win in every aspect of play in rugby and off".

2) Papalii revealed his other career choices would be a mechanic or arborist, in an interview.

3) The All Blacks see him as a rare openside/blindside flanker option, with selector Grant Fox saying: "He was an under-20 star as more of a six (blindside) not so long ago – I can't recall having a guy who can play six and seven."


[Read more: Dalton Papalii leads long list of bolters in All Blacks squad]
4) Papalii could be the first player from the 2017 under-20 world title winning side to play a test for the All Blacks although tearaway Wellington hooker Asafo Aumua – one of the Nippon clip-ons – is also in line for that honour.

5) Papalii is massive for an openside flanker – at 113kg and 1.93m tall. In other words, he's bigger than Jerome Kaino.

6) His tackling figures are off the charts, constantly making more than 20 a game for Auckland and hardly ever missing.

Dalton Papalii...rising force, but will he end up as an All Black six or seven? Photo / Photosport
Dalton Papalii...rising force, but will he end up as an All Black six or seven? Photo / Photosport

7) Papalii made his Super Rugby debut

for the Blues this year, after initially being sidelined with a hand injury.

8) Papalii's selection means the Pakuranga club is celebrating the rise of the first All Black to emerge from its junior and senior ranks.

[Read more: All you need to know about the new All Blacks]
9) What's in a name? He won the Grant Dalton Cup at St Kentigern College after captaining the first XV to the title by beating Auckland Grammar in the final.

10) What's in a spelling? Dalton spells his surname without an apostrophe between the 'i's, although he says people are free to put it in if they like. As for the pronunciation – it's Pa-pa-lee-e.


11) He comes from a league loving family. His sporting hero is Gorden "Raging Bull" Tallis, the former Queensland and Aussie forward who now appears as a TV pundit.

Braydon Ennor...parallel rise. Photo / Photosport
Braydon Ennor...parallel rise. Photo / Photosport

12) Papalii's rise from the Pakuranga juniors

through St Kentigern and into the national under-20 team was alongside Braydon Ennor, who was recruited by the Crusaders Academy in 2015. Super-quick utility back Ennor was outstanding for the double Super Rugby champions this year and has also been tipped for All Black honours.