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The Magazine

Interview with an All Black

Dane Coles is arguably one of the world’s best and most dynamic rugby players. In the combative position of hooker, Coles regularly goes head to head with front rowers around the world in both Super Rugby and International Rugby. He is fast approaching 50 tests for the All Blacks (recently voted the world’s most successful sports team at the Laureus Sports Awards) and is a Rugby World Cup winner. PDP Editor, Dave Wright spoke to Dane about his player development journey, not specialising too young, the types of coaches he responds to and the value of mental preparation in performance.

Dane Coles grew up in a small town on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast, about 45 minutes north of the nation’s capital, Wellington. He has fond memories of his childhood there, saying "we didn't have things like PlayStation back then". He remembers "constantly being outside playing all kinds of sports, including rugby league, touch rugby, softball, football and cricket". As Dane puts it, he “just gave everything a go”.

Despite the lower North Island of New Zealand being a rugby heartland, it...

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