There’s a new face on Sky TV — former All Black Tamati Ellison.
Ellison hung up his Super Rugby boots last year after playing for the Melbourne Rebels, and has brought his nice-guy approach and beaming smile to analyse the Super 18 season as an expert on Friday night’s Post Match, hosted by Melodie Robinson.
“I’m so stoked we have Tamati on Post Match because he’s a current player, fresh and funny. I was listening to him in the Green Room and his technical analysis was mind-blowing, but, probably most importantly, he’s got an interesting personality, and considering Post Match is more about what you and I would debate in the pub following a game, he fits in perfectly.
“Now I just have to make him sing. He says he can’t anymore but I doubt that,” Robinson told Spy.
“It was by chance really, I was emailed by a friend I had met while working with Maori TV, and here I am,” Ellison told Spy about his new gig.
The nice guy of rugby, Ellison, 33, does not find the cameras daunting, but admits to nerves when trying something new.
“Maybe I missed too many tackles when I played, so guys liked me? I am really grateful to the game of rugby, so it’s easier to benice when you are thankful. Also it helps to smile.”
He is not worried about talking about his mates on the field.
“I have been analysing and competing with players for the last 10 years so I know a lot of strengths and also weaknesses. I am a rugby fan first however, and there are so many great players in the game so I will be giving more praise than anything. Unless it’s Cory Jane or Hika Elliot.”
In the new blood stakes, Ellison thinks Rieko Ioane has the potential to cement himself in the All Black 13 jersey this season, while the ones to watch so far in the Super competition are the Hurricanes and Blues.
“Both had wins against weaker opponents but still have a lot of players to return.”
Ellison comes from his hometown Porirua for the show, and told Spy his beautiful wife Meremaraea and his four lovely kids are pumped for him.
“I love the concept of the show. Hopefully we can get into the rugby, but also find out a little bit more about these young stars running around.”