A Kiwi whose father was born in Derby, Teimana Harrison captained Rotorua Boys’ High, where England captain and Northampton club mate Dylan Hartley was also educated. It is among the leading rugby schools in the country and also produced All Blacks Craig Newby and Liam Messam.
After being scouted by Hartley during the 2011 RWC, Teimana made the transition from the Saints Senior Academy to the first team four years ago and had played in 42 Premiership matches and scored five tries by mid-January this year.
Last season was Teimana’s breakthrough campaign with his England debut at No.6 against Wales in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup at Twickenham last May coming two days before the squad’s departure to Australia for the three-Test tour. He made his second appearance in the third Test that brought a 44-40 win over the Wallabies at Sydney in late June. Teimana then became one of four players to score their first England try in the match against Fiji at Twickenham in November, the others being Elliot Daly, Semesa Rokoduguni and Alex Goode.
Injuries opened up his opportunities in the Saints back row and he ha played in his familiar open side role as well as at No.8 for the club. He was the Aviva Premiership Player of the Month last April.
His tenacity and skill led to his Saints debut against Wasps in March 2012 and his team-mates’ difficulty in pronouncing his name prompted the moniker of ‘Mince’ because of his pre-match meal, mince and a few poached eggs on toast.
Teimana, who was born in Whakatãne, said: “As a back rower, you want to be a menace at the breakdown and to be as hard as nails. I came to the Saints on a two-month trial and found myself playing first-team rugby. I must have done something right because Jim (Mallinder) gave me a contract.” It was extended in February 2015. He also acknowledges that he studied the play of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw to improve his game. His younger brother Tiaki is also on the scene at Franklin’s Gardens, the home of the Saints. Like his older brother, he is a back row forward with a preference for playing at No.6.
5 points - 1T
2016 W, A(3), Fj, Arg(R), A(R)
Last updated: 13 January 2017