While its season may be over, the Mako’s breakout star for 2018 isn’t done bruising bodies just yet.
On the back of a barnstorming Mitre10 Cup campaign, Pari Pari Parkinson was selected in the 27-man New Zealand Maori squad to tour the Americas in November, along with fellow Mako Tyrel Lomax.
Pari Pari (Te Whanau a Apanui) carries on in the footsteps of his uncle Matua Parkinson and says it is an incredibly proud moment for him and his family.
“I never write my goals down, but that has always been one of mine.”
He was one of nine new names in the Maori squad which will take on the USA, Brazil and Chile.
After a stellar year with Tasman, consistency will now be the key for Pari Pari.
“Now it’s not just about getting in there but staying there and staying consistent.”
Pari Pari produced a herculean performance in a losing effort to Canterbury on Friday night, ending the Mako’s Premiership hopes.
“It is what it is, it obviously sucks, we wanted to go further, and I think we had the team to do it, but it just wasn’t our day.”
Pari Pari says the clinical Cantaburians simply took their chances while the Mako failed to throw the killer punch.
“It’s a game of moments and they just won the little moments.”
He says the season is one the side will reflect on with pride.
“We had a little hiccup at the start of the season, but we pulled ourselves together, we had some short turnarounds and always managed to front up.”
Pari says the squad’s focus has changed now,
“We couldn’t get the W tonight, so now we will make sure we spend time with the boys who won’t be here next year.”
A strong brotherhood has been the catalyst for the Mako making the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
“Being part of that great culture was the best part for me.”
He says the Mako faithful is another factor which drives the side.
“We always have a good bunch of supporters here in Nelson and the young fullas always come out, which is awesome.”
The 2.04m, 120kg gargantuan hopes to one day repay that faithful with a premiership title.
“I am definitely keen to come back next year and beyond,” he says.
However, for now, Pari Pari’s sights are set on national duties as he prepared to take on the United Sates on November 4.
Coach Clayton McMillan says Pari Pari’s physical presence helped catch his eye.
“Pari Pari has to be the tallest lock running around in New Zealand rugby at the moment and he’s been a stand out for Tasman.”
Maori All Blacks American tour: USA in Chicago on November 4 (12pm NZ time), Brazil in Sao Paulo on November 11 (11am NZ time), Chile in Las Condes on November 18 (9am NZ time).