Rodney So'oialo Joins Coaching Staff

The Petone Rugby Club can confirm that former All Black captain Rodney So'oialo has joined the coaching staff of the Petone premier rugby side for the 2014 season.

So'oialo will take the Petone forwards alongside head coach Peter Green while last years forward coach Jonathan Cleland has moved into administration with a position on the Club’s Management Committee.

Rodney has settled back into the Hutt after playing the last two seasons with the Honda Heat in Japan and is working his way through his IRB Coaching papers. He chose Petone because of its History and Traditions and is very keen to see the club perform again at the high levels everyone expects of it.

Rodney played his club rugby in Wellington for the West Roosters, but was a long-time resident in Buick St near the Petone Recreation Ground and now lives in nearby Woburn with wife Marilyn and children Ani, Tiana, Peyton and RJ(Rodney Jackson).

He played 62 tests for the All Blacks between 2002 to 2009, including five as captain, represented the Hurricanes 101 times from 2001-2010 and earned 64 caps for the Wellington Lions.

Born in Samoa, So’oialo came to New Zealand at an early age and was educated in Wellington where he started out playing at full-back before switching to the pack.

Rodney’s brothers Steve and James opted to play for Samoa and featured in the successful Tawa side last season.

The back-line skills he’d picked up as a teenager, combined with outstanding athleticism, saw him quickly catch the eye as he made his name with the Hurricanes.

He also made his mark on the Sevens circuit, being part of the New Zealand team that won a gold at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

In November of that year, he went on to make his Test debut against the Steve Hansen coached Welshmen at the Millennium Stadium.

A strong, aggressive No. 8 with plenty of pace, he was to establish himself as a regular in the All Blacks back row for much of the 2000s, forming an effective loose forward unit with Jerry Collins and Richie McCaw

He figured in both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, going on to captain the All Blacks five times during the 2008 Tri-Nations.

At this stage Rodney’s role at the club is coaching only but at 34 he is not too old to pull on the boots if required, only time will tell on that one.