Hurricanes Sign Young Gun, Peter Lakai
The Hurricanes have announced the signing of young gun, Peter Lakai, which will see him don the yellow jersey until the end of 2025.
The 19-year-old loose forward joined the Wellington Lions NPC squad in 2021 as injury cover, before linking up with the Hurricanes squad in 2022 on a development contract.
Lakai was awarded his first full-time professional rugby contract with the Lions earlier this year and has since had an impressive rookie season, playing all 11 matches for the side at No. 8.
In his fourth NPC outing for Wellington, the former St Patrick's Silverstream player became the 20th player in NPC history to score a hat-trick in a competition match.
Hurricanes Head Coach, Jason Holland said he was thrilled to give Lakai his first full-time Super Rugby contract.
“Lakai is a top young man who worked hard in our environment last year and deserves to be a full-time contracted player in our group. He will add to an already impressive group of loose forwards, so I am looking forward to some great competition amongst them.”
“Lakai has had an outstanding NPC season with the Wellington Lions. His physicality and ability to go forward through contact from both sides of the ball is impressive.”
“He’s going from strength to strength, so we are excited to see where he can get to in the next few years,” said Holland.
Identified by the Hurricanes in 2019 as emerging talent, Lakai joins recent Hurricanes signee, Riley Higgins, as a success story for the development pathway.
Both progressed through the Wellington and Hurricanes development pathways; named in the Hurricanes U18s, followed by the Hurricanes and New Zealand U20s in 2021 and 2022. Lakai was a star for the New Zealand Under-20s in the Oceania championship.
Speaking on his signing with the Hurricanes, Lakai said: “I feel extremely blessed to sign with the Hurricanes.”
“Growing up in Wellington, it was always a dream of mine to play for this team, so I’m so excited to be able to wear the swirl for the next three seasons.”
“The Hurricanes are a great group, with world-class players, so I am grateful to be in a position where I can learn off some of the best, and grow both professionally and personally,” said Lakai.