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John Timu was a wonderful servant for the Otago rugby team. He played 101 games for the province from 1988 to 1995 and made 26 appearances for the All Blacks. An elusive outside back, he could make something out of nothing. And, in the latter part of his career, he made a successful transition to rugby league and represented his country nine times.
But while he has long since hung up his boots, the next generation of Timus are all starting to carve out their own niche.
Josh is the first chip off the old block. The 20-year-old played for Otago in a warm-up game against Southland in Gore last week and made a strong impression in the midfield.
While he was overlooked for the Mitre 10 Cup squad, coach Cory Brown sees a lot of potential in the young man.
He could be just an injury away from being called into the squad. Younger sister Meg (17) is the captain of the St Hilda’s Collegiate A side.
The school team was leading the premier competition until this reporter showed up to do a story last week and jinxed it. It lost its next two round-robin games but has still qualified for today’s semifinals.
Meg has been a key contributor. The defender has a knack of pulling off intercepts or deflecting the ball away. She is also a very good sevens player and has been invited to trial for the New Zealand under-18 team later this year.
Josh and Annie nominated her as the most competitive of the Timus and Meg just nodded in agreement.
"Probably because I just hate to lose," she said.
Annie is also a very good netballer but it is touch rugby where she is making her mark. The 15-year-old St Hilda’s pupil has been selected in New Zealand under-16 touch team.
The baby of the family Jack (13) is a year 8 pupil at Mt Aspiring College and lives at home with parents in Wanaka.
He has been selected in the Otago under-48kg rugby team but will play anything with a ball, according to his mother Kas Timu.
And that sums up the Timus. They can turn their hand to any code.