Eli Kneepkens has scored 74 points in five games and has proven reliable at fullback for Waimea Old Boys since his move from Taranaki. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport

Eli’s raw talent turning heads


Waimea Old Boys fullback Eli Kneepkens is proving a point by scoring plenty of points with his new rugby club.

The former Taranaki club standout wants to get involved in the Tasman Makos setup and being 1.89m and 92kg he has the bruising size combined with an educated boot which are proving a prolific point scoring combination.

Eli has scored 74 points in his first five games with the club.

Star and Garter Waimea Old Boys beat Kahurangi and Stoke over Easter Weekend to sit second in the NPD Tasman Trophy.

The 20-year-old was born in Christchurch and played for the Christchurch Club at age three-and-half in the under-six grade.

“I was inseparable from a rugby ball from a young age.

“I wanted to play so badly and I remember having to wait until the last play of the very last game of the season before scoring my first try.”

He moved to Taranaki when he was eight and has connections with WOB director of rugby Jono Phillips.

The former top point scorer in Taranaki club rugby says he learned to kick goals from former All Black Andrew Hore’s brother Charlie.

“I used to be his tee boy at the Christchurch Rugby Club and he used to give me a few to keep and gave me a few tips but the rest is just practice these days.”

Eli says the team environment at WOB and the mix of youth and experience reminds him of his Taranaki roots.

“I’m down here by myself but I’m really enjoying the team culture and ideally I want to make it a long term move.

“That will all depend on representative stuff later in the season.”