Player Profile: Riki Flutey

Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)

Weight: 13 st 13 lbs (88 kg)

Date of Birth: February 10, 1980

Birthplace: Petone, New Zealand

Riki Flutey is the current PRA Premiership Player of the Year and Wasps Player of the Year, and goes into his second season as a London Wasp as a new addition to the England Elite Player squad. All this from a player who has only been playing in the Premiership since the end of 2004, and who, incidentally isn’t even English.

Considered a utility back whilst playing in New Zealand for the Hurricanes in what was then the Super 12, Flutey earned a reputation as being a skilful, distributing team player with a good kicking game. He represented New Zealand at all age groups and was a member of the U19 New Zealand team that won the World Cup in 1999. He has also represented the New Zealand Maori.

He moved to England to play for London Irish at the end of 2004, and became their driving force, playing at either 10 or 12 in the run-up to their play-off finish in the 2006-07 season. In his two seasons with the Exiles he scored an impressive 272 points including 15 tries in his 36 club appearances. As a result, Flutey earned a reputation as being one of the best centres in the Premiership, with many pundits and commentators calling for his inclusion in the England set-up as early as 2006.

His debut season at Wasps proved just as fruitful, with a Premiership medal and a well balanced partnership with Daniel Cipriani and Fraser Waters in the midfield. Wasps team mate, Dave Walder describes Flutey’s influence: “you can give him the ball as a No 10, let him deal with it, and then think a couple of phases down the line while he is making the play.”

Flutey’s qualification for England on residency grounds promises to be more fruitful than the ill-fated Vainikolo and Farrell experiments that have plagued the English backline for the past couple of years, and could help shore up an England centre pairing that lacks creativity and defensive prowess. Not bad for a Kiwi.

This is the first in a new series of articles profiling of exciting prospects for the new Northern Hemisphere season by new recruit to The Rugby Blog team, John White.

4 thoughts on “Player Profile: Riki Flutey

  1. Definitely an England star in the making. Could be to rugby what Kevin Pietersen has been to english cricket. If he can produce for England anything like the form he showed for Wasps last time out, then he won’t have to wait long to be a regular.

    However, what I would question is where the madness ends with foreign players turning out for England in all sports? This guy is obviously a Kiwi and although he is a top talent, I don’t think everyone would want him in the England side.

  2. Surely its time to call time on Flutey. He may be a fine player, but the link of a Kiwi playing and living in France representing England as a resident has been stretched too thin

  3. RICKI FLUETY IS VERY VERY COOL ALTHOUGH I HAVE NOTISED THAT HE IS A BIT OF A BALL HODGER STILL I PUT HIM IN MY LIONS SQAUD

    GO FLUTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. The only foreigners not yet representing the English at some or other international level are the Scottish, Welsh and Irish. Having recently qualified to become a British citizen myself, I can proudly say that I have passed the Lord Tebbitt Englishness test. It does help that there are so many ex-South Africans in the cricket squad, though ….

Comments are closed.