"Sham-Wow" Vui striving to become a Super man

NRC
by Sam Phillips

Sensational solo tries for the Sydney Rays have put Shambeckler Vui's name in lights but he knows he must follow the path of another boom Australian tighthead if he is to prosper on the Super Rugby stage.

Vui is not dissimilar to star Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou in that he is a tighthead who plays like an inside centre at heart.

He has the explosive carries and pace to burn, and he's scored tries in two games that have spun around the internet with "props can run too" virality.

But just as Tupou rose to the Wallabies on the back of his work in the front row, Vui wants to show his wares at scrum time in order to secure a starting spot for the Waratahs in 2019.

He gets another chance on Sunday when the Rays take on Fiji at Concord Oval. The Drua are free-running magicians but also have an underrated front row.

"That's pretty much what I'm trying to do and that's what NRC is for," Vui said.

"It's for guys like me who are trying to stake their claim for a jersey.

"I'm just trying to do my best to show everyone what I can do and hopefully get a starting spot for the Waratahs at the start of 2019."

Vui featured in four Waratahs games this season but boasts the potential to make himself a fixture next year.

Sekope Kepu stands in his way as the Tahs' long standing starting tighthead and Daryl Gibson has asked Vui to improve his set piece play before he is thrown into the furnace.

"Both Daryl and Crono really want me to focus more on that," Vui said.

"They know I can run the ball but scrummaging at tighthead is the rock of the scrum so I have a big responsibility there.

"It will just come with scrummaging and more time.

"Hopefully my time will come next year."


While he wouldn't go as far to say that he has fallen in love with the dark arts of the scrum Vui is relishing the challenge.

"As anyone who has played tighthead knows it's physically demanding but I love challenges," he said.

"That's the type of person I am.

"So I am just taking that challenge head on and trying my best to enjoy it at the same time."

The next challenge which awaits the 21-year-old is the Rays' clash with the red hot Fijian Drua on Sunday at Concord Oval.

Sydney are yet to enter the winners circle this season but Vui is confident his side's defence will get them over the line.

"We need to improve our defence and our set piece," he said.

"I'm not one to make excuses but I honestly think that lack of time and being together has hurt.

"We haven't been able to get that cohesiveness and that chemistry.

"If we can get that around the defence and set piece we can get that win on Sunday."

The Rays face the Fijian Drua at Concord Oval on Sunday, kicking off at 3pm AEST.