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News > Collegians > Tepaea Cook-Savage is Olympic Ready

Tepaea Cook-Savage is Olympic Ready

As the 2024 Olympics nears, Tepaea Cook Savage (Sargood 2017-2019) is ready to head off to Paris with the New Zealand Sevens Team.
Tepaea in action at the Hong Kong Sevens, image via Edmund So/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images
Tepaea in action at the Hong Kong Sevens, image via Edmund So/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

As the 2024 Olympics nears, Tepaea Cook Savage (Sargood 2017-2019) is ready to head off to Paris with the New Zealand Sevens Team.

With intense training, sleeping and eating as the focus of the lead-up to the games, Tepaea and the team are ready to tackle the final three weeks before the matches begin.

Tepaea had a taste of international success this year as part of the winning team at the Hong Kong Sevens Tournament. Tepaea was also awarded the prestigious Leslie Williams Trophy for being the ‘best and fairest’ player at the competition. 

“That came as a real surprise, I was just doing my job on the field and to win that award, I was very humbled,” says Tepaea.

He didn’t begin his international rugby career in the way he expected. In late 2022, he was called up for injury cover for the New Zealand Sevens team and two weeks later he was heading off to Dubai to represent the team. 

Tepaea remembers “It felt great being selected for the New Zealand Sevens, I’d always been aiming for the squad and to get the call up earlier than expected was a real surprise.”

Tepaea’s ball skills improved immensely during his years at St Paul’s Collegiate School under the guidance of First XI coach Paul Hodder. Tepaea says that ‘Hods’ helped him better understand the game and how to execute the basics well. This advice is still the best he has received for playing at the highest level.

“Paul Hodder helped me a lot in more ways than just rugby. I lived with him and his wife Krista after I finished school and I am eternally grateful for them during that year as I didn’t have anyone in Hamilton at that time.”

Outside of rugby, Tepaea is quite handy with a pair of clippers and has been in demand by his mates for haircuts.

“For me, it was just about doing something like I loved and I loved cutting hair for the boys. I started doing it at St Paul’s and it’s something I still do now and even sat my Commerical Barbering course last year.”

At home in Tauranga, Tepaea lives with his Black Fern partner, Mia Anderson, and the couple have a 16-month-old son. 

Tepaea has his eyes on Super Rugby in 2025 and we wish him and the New Zealand Sevens team all the best for the Paris Olympics 2024.

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