George Tilsley is one rugby player you sit or stand up a little straighter to watch whenever he touches the ball.
The Tawa RFC winger is in his second year with the premier squad and has made his mark in their Swindale Shield campaign this year.
He has missed a handful of games due to injury, however, but made a successful comeback on May 21 in the loss to Upper Hutt.
"I'm disappointed when I can't be out there; this is a good team and club, and I'd love to be helping them achieve what I know we can."
The fleet-footed Tilsley has the ability to stand up opposition wingers and score tries from nothing, as he showed with a scintillating double in the opening fixture of the season, a narrow loss to Old Boys-University.
His natural ability and pace has been honed by stints in the New Zealand flag and sevens sides, playing for the national B team in the latter.
Tilsley was born in Papua New Guinea, where rugby league rules the roost.
The 19-year-old admits a fondness for union's rival, but it's the 15-man game that has served him well after he came to New Zealand eight years ago.
The old boy of Kura St, Titahi Bay Intermediate and Tawa College was encouraged by a friend to give rugby a crack as an 11-year-old, told to stand out on the wing and "don't get tackled".
He found this to be an easy direction to follow.
As a one-time member of Norths-Onepoto under 11s, getting into the Northern United senior setup might have seemed logical, but he's thankful for the opportunities afforded him at Tawa.
He made their senior firsts as a 17-year-old, saying "getting smashed" at a young age has actually done his confidence a lot of good.
"Everyone talks about Norths and that's fair enough, they have a good club and great prem[ier] team.
"But I see this [playing for Tawa premiers] as the chance to play against the best in the region, and I really enjoy the atmosphere at Tawa. The culture is great and there's a lot of talent and loyalty, this is what keeps people coming back," he said.
"We haven't been putting the results together but I don't think we're far away."
He cites the May 7 win over second-placed Oriental-Rongotai as an example of what they are capable of.
The 19-year-old has had to grow up pretty quickly, living on his own in New Zealand after difficult family circumstances.
Alongside rugby commitments, Tilsley has completed a business management course and worked as a lifeguard at Tawa Pool and in customer service with Jetstar, before taking up a customer service role for Work and Income in Wellington recently.
"I think it's important to have options outside rugby; you should set yourself up in case something happens.
"Some things have been a challenge to deal with in my life, but it's about how well you manage and I think I've found a balance."
A member of the Wellington Lions' development squad, Tilsley hopes to shake off his injuries and push for higher honours at NPC level.
He remains committed to sevens as well, but options like playing overseas or even flirting with rugby league are not totally off the table.
We'll see how I go. My focus is getting back playing for Tawa.
"I'm going to be patient with my rugby, work hard and see what happens."