Tyler Laubscher on his way up
Tyler Laubscher has had his fair share of obstacles on his journey to the Manawatū Turbos. The 19-year-old has endured months of rehabilitation and hard work to become the capable loose forward we see now.
In Laubscher’s final year at Palmerston North Boys’ High School in 2018 he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his knee during a game in Wellington. The injury required surgery and led to a massive 14-month-long recovery process.
Despite the injury, the South African-born loose forward was signed to the Manawatū Academy in 2019, recovering in time to make the Manawatū Under 19s squad. He quickly caught the eye of the Turbos’ coaches and debuted against Bay of Plenty.
At the beginning of this season, Laubscher was forced to undergo another operation, this time on his shoulder, placing another obstacle in the way of his rugby career. The Turbos’ coaches saw promise in Laubscher. Assistant coach Aaron Good said they were prepared to be patient with his recovery knowing it would be worth the wait.
“We saw that potential in him…even at schoolboy level, the physicality in his game stood out,” Good said. “Some of those qualities are quite rare.”
Through rehabilitation with the Manawatū Academy, Laubscher recovered in time for the Turbos season. But without the conditioning from the 2020 club rugby season, he has had to work hard to catch up. He said training and working alongside a great bunch of guys every day, just doing what he loves, makes all the difference.
He has been picked in every match this season, which proves his hard work has paid off. Laubscher hoped injuries do not delay him again this year but is trying not to brood over it.
“I’ve spent so many years on the sideline that as every week comes by, I’m just enjoying strapping on the boots, putting on the jersey and playing some rugby with my mates.”
This season’s Mitre 10 Cup has been filled with Super Rugby players and All Black elites and Laubscher was loving this time of playing alongside those who he has watched for years. He is hoping to one day take their place, so for now is focused on developing his own skills to show them what he too can do.