Māori All Black wants to play for England

By Ruth Smith, Tamati Tiananga

Māori All Black Ambrose Curtis wants to follow in the footsteps of former NZ Māori player, Riki Flutey and play for England. 

The 26 year-old Manawatū winger has been signed by Wasps Rugby in England for the 2018-2019 season. Curtis has represented New Zealand a number of times in both Rugby and Rugby Sevens. 

He now sets his sights on the English national team.  The winger is about to take flight.

"An offer from Wasps had come up and there had been quite a few minimal offers in NZ, so I thought a club like Wasps with a proud history, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me," says Curtis, the Wasps latest contracted player.

The move to England gives Curtis the opportunity to explore his English heritage which also aligns with his future rugby aspirations.

"My grandad was born over in the Jersey Channel, so thankfully it helps me to gain the ancestry visa which allows me to stick around there a little longer.  I have to go through re-nationalising process.  But I think somehow this could help make it a lot easier to hopefully one day play for the England squad, which is definitely my goal," says Curtis.

The Ngāi Te Rangi descendant has been snapped up by the prestigious Wasps Rugby club.

"I was pretty surprised because Wasps was a very good club.  I was quite grateful and blessed with the opportunity to play for a club like that.  I’m pretty excited to take it with both hands."

Curtis is no stranger to high level rugby, representing New Zealand as a Māori All Black and a rugby sevens player, and he looks forward to exploring a new style of play.

"I think New Zealand rugby is a lot more free-flowing, pretty quick, and a lot more expansive.  But over there it's all about set-piece.  The kicking game is huge and for me I love the aerial skills and I love to run the ball, so if I can bring the physicality and hard running then I'll be pretty happy."

Curtis is scheduled to leave for his new club in England this month.