Rugby: Much too strong for Germany

Anton Segner is a German sports ace. More precisely: Frankfurter, 20 years old – and he’s mixing up the national sport of rugby in New Zealand. Soon he could play for the legendary All Blacks, the national team of the “Kiwis”. They are a real eye-catcher: the eyes wide open, every muscle tense, the movements rehearsed. Anton Segner, of course, also masters her Haka, the legendary Maori war dance before the start of the game. Long time.

“As a ten or eleven year old, I practiced in front of the mirror at home,” said the rugby ace from Frankfurt now. “You really have to go through with it – or you look like an idiot.”

As a child, Segner never wanted to be like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, his heroes were not football stars. They were called Richie McCaw, Dan Carter or Michael Jones – the greats of rugby. And now the 20-year-old is mixing up this tough athletic discipline himself in New Zealand. Segner could soon be playing for the famous All Blacks. It would be a sensation. “Rugby in New Zealand is like football in Germany – every child seems to be walking around with a ball under their arm,” he said. At the age of nine, Segner discovered his love for rugby at SC Frankfurt in 1880. At the age of 15, his New Zealand coach Tim Manawatu sent him to Nelson, where he received a college scholarship – he now speaks English with a strong “kiwi” accent and has long been a professional at the star-studded Tasman Mako.

“I still have a lot to learn – and I love it,” said Segner, who is living his dream 18,000 kilometers away from home. He’s already played in New Zealand’s U18s and made his debut for the U20s in the summer – the next step will hopefully lead to the “big” All Blacks. It could be in the coming year, then Segner will live in the country for five years – a condition for joining the team. In order to meet the physical demands, the blond boy has meanwhile gained 15 kilograms of muscle mass, now comes to 110 kilograms. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from people who have made it to the top level,” said Segner.

“It’s an amazing story,” said Tilo Barz, youth leader at Segner’s former club in Frankfurt: “A young player from Germany who is better than most New Zealanders” at his age. Why doesn’t he play for Germany? That’s because “it’s just too good. He’s playing on a different level ”.

“Almost anything is possible for him”

But could a German really one day play for the legendary All Blacks, the rugby team par excellence? “Why not, he has the personality and the will to learn – anything is possible for him,” said Tasman trainer Andrew Goodman: “He does what he was born to do.” And Segner has already mastered the Haka. sid

DRV selection is slowly making its way forward

Coming: The German men’s rugby 7 team recently finished its second appearance on the World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 in Edmonton, Canada with a good fifth place. The team of national coach Damian McGrath convinced with victories over Great Britain and Hong Kong as well as in the game for fifth place against the USA.

At the first appearance the DRV selection in Vancouver was ninth. “This is another great day for German rugby,” said Coach McGrath.