Students at Rosmini College on Auckland’s North Shore were wowed by the appearance of All Black Brodie Retallick at a lunchtime presentation ceremony on April 4.

Retallick was invited to the college auditorium to share his insights and assist in the presentation of this season’s kit to 1st and 2nd XV players. His visit was coordinated by Dexion NZ who are proud supporters of rugby at Rosmini College.

Following the All Black’s introduction by college principal Nixon Cooper, a question and answer session followed.

Questions from both Mr Fordham, the assistant principal and sports director, and from the floor focused on training tips and what it takes to succeed in the game, as well as on several more candid topics which prompted entertaining replies.

Retallick emphasised the value of mental attitude and commitment and shared many inspirational insights on achieving at the highest level.

One younger player asked how to respond if you’re told you’re not good enough. Retallick’s advice was to “bear in mind that’s only one person’s opinion — and it’s up to you who you listen to. Work ethic and mental attitude trump natural attributes”.

“It’s not how big or how fast you are, but how hard you’re prepared to work. If you’ve got the motivation to turn up to training, you might as well push yourself every time.”

Sports bags containing this year’s rugby kit were then presented to each player by Derek Finnigan of Dexion’s new North Harbour Supply Centre. This was followed by the presentation of a personalised, signed rugby ball and a photo opportunity with Retallick.

Rosmini principal Nixon Cooper expressed appreciation to both Dexion and Retallick for their support and for bringing such a memorable event to the college.

Retallick’s final words were: “Work hard at training, listen to the coaches and do your homework around how they want you to prepare for the team you’re facing. Then put it into action on the pitch on Saturday, and have some fun.”