Terrence Hepetema enjoyed a successful first campaign with the Exiles, scoring five times in 13 appearances as he cemented himself as a dynamic option in the centres.
Hepetema, who signed for Irish in November 2018, has thrived in his new surroundings and is excited by what’s to come.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and settled in well. I love living in London and this environment is one that allows people to grow and express themselves, obviously there is an added bit of excitement this year as we return to the Premiership.
“We have a few new faces that are going to join the squad but, I think competition for places is healthy for the growth of each player, the team and the culture.”
With the new additions drip-feeding into Hazelwood, Terrence thinks that it is a great opportunity for the existing squad to develop themselves.
“The beauty of people joining the club from different parts of the world is that you can learn from them. They offer different things and it’s cool because we get to see it all unfold in training.”
Away from the rugby field, Hepetema is enjoying taking in everything that London has to offer as, including the local culture.
“Being in London there is a lot to do. I like looking at the architecture and going to the museums and other bits like that!
“I enjoy finding new coffee spots around London and a bit of golf. I wouldn’t say I am a good golfer, but I get out there and give it a hack!”
Rugby is a notoriously tight-knit community with friendships forged from young ages and this is no different for Hepetema. Growing up in New Zealand, he struck a friendship with a current All Black scrum-half that is still strong to this day.
“I have a few close friends in rugby. Probably my best friend is TJ Perenara, we went to school together. We are very close and talk a lot. He gives me a lot of advice, obviously he is playing at the very top level of rugby with the All Blacks, so that’s cool.”
Hepetema is keen for his friend Perenara and the All Blacks to go all the way in the upcoming Rugby World Cup, but admits there could be a few surprises in the tournament.
“I hope New Zealand go on and win it, but I think any team could win it on their day. I think Fiji could do well! Freddie and Albert are both playing for them so I think they could be an exciting team to keep an eye on. They might shock a few teams!”
Terrence has been working with the newly-formed London Irish Foundation and is looking forward to getting involved throughout the season.
“I am going to be helping as much as I can, they have lots of things going on. I am looking to get involved with the underprivileged youth, some of whom come from really tough backgrounds. Whatever my involvement may be, I just want to give back a bit.”
To see Terrence and his teammates in action with a Season Ticket, click here.