Local Talent de Groot Surges Ahead of South in Final Showdown

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Local Talent de Groot Surges Ahead of South in Final Showdown

rugby england, rugby france, rugby live, Rugby World Cup

In a remarkable journey that began in the modest rugby fields of Gore, Ethan de Groot, a prominent figure hailing from Albion, Riversdale, and the Highlanders, is poised to make his mark on the biggest stage in rugby – the Rugby World Cup final.

The colossal loosehead prop is the frontrunner to represent the All Blacks in his 22nd international test match on a Sunday morning in Paris, where the pinnacle of the sport will unfold.

Nikkila and Rodney, his unwavering parents who have stood by his side throughout his journey, will be passionately cheering him on from the comfort of their home.

Though Ethan de Groot was born in Australia, he made his way to the South at an early age. His rugby journey began at Albion, where he can still be spotted on the sidelines on those rare weekends when he’s not occupied with professional commitments.

Bob Vercoe, a dedicated figure at Albion, attests to de Groot’s humility and loyalty to the club. He fondly recalls a moment when Ethan responded to a congratulatory text within seconds, demonstrating his genuine character.

De Groot’s humility extends to his family and the club, as seen when he declined to present his brother Isaiah’s 50th game jersey, stating that the moment was about his brother and the club, not himself.

De Groot’s educational path led him through Gore High School and a stint with the Riversdale side during his school years. He later attended Southland Boys’ High School before embarking on his professional rugby career.

From school rugby to provincial rugby in Southland and eventually a spot with the Highlanders in 2020, de Groot’s journey is a testament to his size, agility, and, most importantly, his unwavering determination.

Despite facing injuries in both school and first-class rugby, de Groot’s resiliency and persistence have defined his career. Even being dropped from the national side last year worked in his favor, as the All Blacks struggled without him during a series loss to Ireland.

At the World Cup, de Groot encountered a controversial red card for a high tackle, which led to a two-match suspension. He made a strong comeback in the subsequent games, setting the stage for the ultimate challenge – an 80-minute showdown against their traditional rivals, South Africa.

Ethan de Groot is not just ready and willing; he carries the hopes and support of the entire South on his shoulders as he prepares to face the old enemy in the Rugby World Cup final.

Reference:

https://www.odt.co.nz/southland/the-ensign/south-behind-local-lad-de-groot-final

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