Malakai Fekitoa has only two caps for New Zealand, and he is already approaching stardom. An electric centre with a livewire side-step, power and good hands, Fekitoa will be an All Black for the next ten years.
77-cap Kiwi centre Conrad Smith will remember him for the scything dump tackle he was on the wrong end of in this year’s Super 15 (see video above), but he will also face the prospect of losing his All Black berth to this supremely-talented 22-year-old.
Fekitoa’s natural ability is matched by a balanced temperament. Charlie Morgan, writing in Rugby World noted: "One thing is for sure, the Highlander possesses incredible drive—his mentality is perhaps the most striking thing about him".
According to Gregor Paul of the New Zealand Herald, there is the suggestion that cross-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams will be included in All Black squads toward the end of 2014 after converting back from New Zealand’s NRL (National Rugby League) season. Bleacher Report’s Jeff Cheshire argued that Williams will need to hit top form for a recall, but Fetikoa could make that irrelevant if he performs in the Rugby Championship.
Fekitoa stands to get better and better as he develops and matures. When he is the finished product he will be classed in the same category as All Black greats Jonah Lomu, Dan Carter and the rest.