"Hikairo is someone who was identified as a schoolboy as someone having potential," Hanks said.
After school, Hikairo went on his Mormon mission. He returned last year. Last November, he joined the Waikato high performance programme, training fulltime under trainer Wally Rifle, playing for Hautapu and earning this week's start. "He and Josh Hohneck have both brought ball-carrying ability to the team and are both also good defenders," Hanks said.