University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20 captain and Te Awamutu Sports player Gideon Wrampling made his Super Rugby debut for the Gallagher Chiefs at Eden Park on Saturday night.
Nineteen-year-old Wrampling wore the number 23 jersey and came on in the 56th minute to replace injured captain Sean Wainui in the midfield, becoming Chief No 344.
"It was an amazing opportunity for me and my family and I'm really grateful. It's a huge honour to put on the jersey and represent the region," said Wrampling.
"At first I was really surprised [that I was named in the Chiefs full squad] and didn't see it coming. From then I was just really excited and couldn't wait to get out there with the boys."
He had two runs and made two tackles while on the pitch with one touch of the ball ending up in the hands of winger Shaun Stevenson who scored in the corner during the 62nd minute.
Wrampling, who played eight matches for Waikato in 2020, said it was definitely more physical and a step up from his previous rugby experiences.
"I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some good players to help me out on my first time out there.
"Definitely my career highlight so far, putting on the Chiefs jersey, representing the Chiefs and my family."
The Blues ended up winning 39-19 but it was a great showing from a young Chiefs side which included six debutants.
Heading into Saturday's Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa grand final against the Crusaders in Christchurch, Wrampling says the Chiefs squad have plenty of energy and are looking for to the hit out.
The previous weekend saw Wrampling make his Te Awamutu Sports debut at centre after returning from Chiefs Under 20s duty.
He was instrumental in Sports' 31-15 win over University.
"It was awesome; leading up to the game the boys were all really welcoming. To get the win over Varsity was an awesome feeling for my first game for TA. I was super stoked to do it with the boys," he said.
Born and raised in Auckland, Wrampling moved to Brisbane for eight years before moving to Hamilton in 2018 where he finished his last two years of schooling at St Paul's Collegiate.
Wrampling played for Hamilton Old Boys and moved to Te Awamutu Sports after talks with family friend and Te Awamutu Sports coach (now director of rugby), Travis Church.
"Everything that he said was true, there's an awesome culture there. The boys are brilliant and the community gets around the footy."
Older brother Jotham has joined the Te Awamutu Sports coaching team for 2021, alongside former Chief and Māori All Black Jackson Willison.
Jotham has played rugby in Australia, France and Japan as well as being a former member of the Samoan Under 20 squad.