Levi Emery wants to learn as much as possible in his first year of professional rugby.
The former St Kevin’s College pupil has been named in this year’s Otago Mitre 10 Cup team after an impressive Dunedin club season for Alhambra-Union.
“I’m stoked; it was a bit of a shock,” Emery said.
It was so much of a shock that after the announcement last month he had to scramble to make the team meeting which was due to start shortly afterwards.
“It was always a goal to play for any provincial team, especially Otago which is my home – it’s a bit of a dream come true,” he said.
“It was a pretty unreal day when I got named. My mum was pretty stoked, and the rest of the family.
“It means a lot especially because they gave so much. I wouldn’t be there today without them.”
Emery credited his St Kevin’s College coaches, Kurt Rooney and Justin Fowler, for their role in his development as a player.
“They helped heaps to make us enjoy footy, to have fun with your mates.”
Emery said enjoying his time with the Otago team was one of his main focuses, as was soaking up as much information as he could.
He has been named in the team as a first five-eighth, but is equally comfortable at fullback.
“I feel like they are both pretty similar positions; I don’t get to fussed on where I’m put,” he said.
“Even if it’s running the tee out, anywhere I am put to help the team out.”
There is a strong St Kevin’s contingent at Alhambra-Union. Emery is joined by fellow ex-pupils Ben McCarthy and Ramesh Khatri in the premier team.
Also playing for Alhambra-Union when they do not have Highlanders commitments are Vilimoni Koroi and Jona Nareki.
“It is so good to learn off them. They are awesome players and great people,” Emery said.
Emery is juggling his studies towards a bachelor of physical education with his Otago rugby commitments.
“Hopefully, I can get through that and then get my master’s, then hopefully get a [teaching] job back at St Kevin’s somehow,” he said.