10 rugby stars who took unorthodox routes to the top

10 international rugby stars who took unorthodox routes to the top

6 Luke Romano

Luke Romano is a refreshing throwback to the old school, almost an oddity in professional rugby. His path to the All Blacks followed a rare road, nearly unheard of in the modern era.

Romano wasn’t a standout youngster. He never impressed the local representative selectors, or progressed through the now institutionalised talent-spotting systems. Unlike the somewhat pampered new-age player, Romano first learned to hold down a real job. He, therefore, has an appreciation and perspective of what life entails off the field.

A consummate lock, with all the skills required to do the job properly, Romano has continued to develop and improve since his provincial debut in 2009. He is now trying to make up for lost time and construct a fittingly sturdy All Black career and has won 31 Test caps so far since making his debut in 2012, aged 26.