The first All Black squad of 2016 was announced last weekend and, with Honor Carter and Gemma Flynn now in the former All Black WAG category, Spy was keen to see which of the new boys — who have already been fitted for their swish Barkers suits — might liven up the social scene.
So far we’ve spotted three stand-outs — Highlanders’ hardman Elliot Dixon, 26; the Hurricanes’ Mr Smooth, Ardie Savea, 22; and Chiefs’ bolter Seta Tamanivalu, 23.
Paige Smith with Huxley and Elliot Dixon with his four-legged mate, Odin.
Dixon strikes us as more of a lovely soft marshmallow. Last June, he and partner Paige Smith had a baby boy named Huxley. The pair also have an german shepherd, Odin, who makes Dixon melt nearly as much as baby Huxley.
The humble Savea has joined big brother Julian in the squad. Ardie has been dating girlfriend Saskia Hartmann-Hechenberger for several years and last weekend the couple joined Julian and his lovely wife Fatima at a Hurricanes’ dress-up party. Ardie and Saskia stole the show as Game of Thrones characters Khal Drogo and Khaleesi. There is also a dog in the life of this pair, a husky named Dakota.
Last, we have a golden sporting match in rugby — Fijian-born Tamanivalu and his girlfriend Brittany Coates, 22, who is a member of the Fijian women’s Sevens side, hoping to chase gold at this year’s Olympics.
Brittany Coates and Seta Tamanivalu.
The pair are negotiating a long-distance relationship — Coates has been based in Fiji since last October for training. Earlier this year, Tamanivalu was proud when Coates came home to graduate from Massey with a Bachelor of Science, a double major in human nutrition and psychology.
When her boyfriend was named in the All Black squad, Coates was away winning her own game with her team in France.