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Hurricanes sharing the Love

The Hurricanes are sharing the Love – for the next three years.

A year out of school, Love has been contracted to the Hurricanes for 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Love joined Wellington from Palmerston North Boys’ High School in 2020, linking with the Wainuiomata club, making the following appearances:

Date Competition Rnd Pos Team 1 Score 1 Team 2 Score 2 T C P DG Pts
2020-09-19 Hardham Cup Premier 2 1 10 Wainui: Premier 19 Tawa: Premier 11 0 0 0 0 0
2020-09-12 Swindale Shield 13 15 Wainui: Premier 35 Poneke: Premier 14 1 0 0 0 5
2020-08-29 Swindale Shield 11 21 Wainui: Premier 29 Upper Hutt Rams: Upper Hutt Ra … 19 0 0 0 0 0
2020-07-04 Swindale Shield 3 10 Wainui: Premier 10 Marist St Pats: Premier 27 0 0 0 0 0
2020-06-27 Swindale Shield 2 10 Wainui: Premier 28 Petone: Premier 23 0 0 0 0 0

He then made his NPC debut for Wellington, playing the following games:

Date Competition Rnd Pos Team 1 Score 1 Team 2 Score 2 T C P DG Pts
2020-11-08 National Provincial Championsh … 9 23 Wellington: Wellington Lions 18 Hawke’s Bay: Hawke’s Bay 34 0 0 0 0 0
2020-10-31 National Provincial Championsh … 8 15 Wellington: Wellington Lions 3 Tasman: Tasman Makos 19 0 0 0 0 0
2020-10-25 National Provincial Championsh … 7 15 Wellington: Wellington Lions 53 Counties Manukau: Counties Man … 20 0 0 0 0 0
2020-10-17 National Provincial Championsh … 6 23 Wellington: Wellington Lions 25 North Harbour: North Harbour 20 0 0 0 0 0
2020-09-25 National Provincial Championsh … 3 23 Wellington: Wellington Lions 32 BoP: Bay of Plenty 10 1 0 0 0 5

In 2019, Love become the first player selected in both the New Zealand Under-18 Māori rugby and cricket teams.

The Under-18 cricket side has only just been convened and Love admits he had no idea the side even existed.

In cricket, he is a wicketkeeper-batsman and spent three years in the Palmerston North BHS First XI.

He says the rugby experience in Wellington in 2020 has been a dream come true.

“It has been a massive step up from schoolboy and club rugby in all facets of the game, but having the support of the boys and coaches made it an effective environment to grow and develop as a person and a player.”

A former coach of his at PNBHS, Blair Van Stipriaan says Love possesses “freakish” physical attributes and a desire to “outwork everyone” – so his rise to success comes as no surprise.

“He is an awesome young man and as a school and as a 1st XV community, we are massively proud of what he has achieved.  His former teammates will all say to you that none of this is unexpected. He has worked hard to get to where he is and will not rest on his laurels and his signing will be a trigger for him to work harder still.”

Van Stipriaan says he was fortunate enough to witness Love’s debut for the Lions and was incredibly proud of what he witnessed.

“The passion he displayed after scoring the try was very un-Ruben, but the journey that he has been on since leaving our gates has tested him and that was a special moment for him and his whanau.”

Hurricanes head coach, Jason Holland, says he’s looking forward to seeing Love enter the ranks of Super Rugby.

“Ruben is a quality young man who has all the skills. He can play a number of positions due to his skillset. He is still learning the game and what is required at Super level but will grow quickly and we expect him to add massive value to our squad for 2021 and many years in the future.”

Below: Ruben Love scoring an intercept try for the NZ Māori U18 rugby team against the NZ Schools Barbarians in Septemnber 2018:

Below: Playing for the Wellington Lions this year:


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