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Player of the week: Rihi Brown


Flanker Rihi Brown has been one of the stars for Greytown in their unbeaten start to the season. CHRIS COGDALE spoke to the Masterton stock agent.

During the week Rihi Brown buys and sells sheep and cattle for PGG Wrightson in southern Wairarapa.

At the weekend, the 30-year-old openside flanker is rounding up opposition players and proving to be an important cog in the unbeaten Greytown side.

Wairarapa-born and raised, Brown has played rugby from young, progressing through the representative age-group teams, having two years in the Wairarapa College First XV, before heading to Canterbury’s Lincoln University, where he joined the Christchurch club.

Then followed a stint playing rugby in the northern English city York and in the Netherlands, playing in the accustomed position of second-five.

Back home, Brown took up his job with PGG Wrightson, where he has worked for six years, and played a few games for Martinborough before switching to Greytown – a move he doesn’t regret.

“It has a real good family culture, and no human is too good for the club,” he explained.

“We do a lot of family stuff with wives and kids, and the club itself is a big part of the community.”

Brown said a good example was when his brother, former Wai-Bush representative, Teihana, broke his ankle.

“The club paid for everything because he was an apprentice and didn’t have a lot of money. He had just gone renting, and his then-partner was a student, and they were given a lot of stuff to go in the house. I don’t think a lot of clubs would do that.”

He added that spirit is also evident with the players in the premier and senior reserve teams prepared to move between the teams to help in an injury crisis, such as the one that hit the top team in recent weeks.

“We’d be in a better position if we had those injured players, but we’re doing enough to build every week with the players that we’ve got, which is good.”

Brown believes the team is on track to be major contenders in the championship after making last year’s final, which they lost to Marist with a last-minute penalty.

After Carterton this Saturday, Brown will have Queen’s Birthday weekend away from rugby, but he will cheer on partner Paige Drummond who will compete in the Hands of Hope corporate fight night.

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