Whanganui's Nick Kawana has the opportunity to do something nobody has ever done before in a new facet of the PlaceMakers Punt for Prizes competition.

However, he needs the help of his community to make the most of it.

Kawana, 29, has been named in the final two of the Clash of the Captains to determine who is going to lead the Wellington region.

The captain of each region in New Zealand will get the opportunity to run a social media page for their team, allowing them to run competitions, organise and host events.


Kawana said if he wins the most votes, it will benefit rugby in the smaller areas of the Wellington region.

"My main pitch because I'm outside of Wellington was to try and get people with tickets to the games, so organising buses and things like that," Kawana said.

"I'd also like to get players, depending on availability, out into the communities. I'm a schoolteacher so one of my big ones was school visits and visits to rugby clubs."

Kawana teaches at St Dominic's College and owes a big thank you to one of his students who helped get him into this position in the first place.

The PlaceMakers Punt for Prizes competition challenges people to choose the winning team in each super rugby match throughout the season.

Five points are awarded for every correct decision, however, what can really separate competitors is choosing a draw for 25 points.

"One of the things the guys at Hurricanes HQ liked was that I get student input. Sometimes at morning tea, we just sit around and have a bit of a chat," Kawana said.

"One of my students actually correctly picked a draw last year. That's one of the big reasons why I shot to the top."


The top 100 players in each region were sent an email asking them if they were interested in this new Clash of the Captains component.

Kawana filled in an online form not thinking much of it and next thing he knew he was doing a phone interview and then a face-to-face with five officials in Wellington.

"I didn't realise it was going to be this big. In the phone interview they asked me if I could poach any player from any Super Rugby team, who it would be.

"I chose Brodie Retallick from the Chiefs, because he's one of the best locks in the world. In all of his interviews, he seems like a cool down to earth guy as well."

There's never been any question where Kawana's loyalty lies, he's a Hurricanes man through-and-through.

Kawana says he wasn't much of a player himself, but remembers his dad playing and idolising the great All Black Jonah Lomu as he stormed the field in the yellow and black.

At the moment, Kawana is going around the paddock more like Bull Allen than Lomu, currently over 300 votes behind John from Wellington.

He's starting one last rolling maul before voting closes at Midday on Tuesday January 29 and hoping his hometown can help get him across the try line.

Votes can be made at captainsquest.placemakers.co.nz or on the PlaceMakers Facebook page.