Fri, Oct 1, 2021 1:56 PM

Dan’s dream becomes virtual reality

Victory Primary School principal Dan George will play in the inaugural Alt Blacks team this weekend. Photo: File.

Jonty Dine

Like most Kiwi kids, Dan George grew up believing he was destined to be an All Black.

However, as he realised his talent didn’t quite match his sporting ambitions, this dream appeared to be permanently lost for the Victory Primary School principal.

However, Dan is now set to virtually suit up in the iconic black jersey, albeit as an digital version of himself. He has been chosen to be part of an 'Alt Blacks' team along with 22 other everyday Kiwis who will become videogame versions of themselves. They will then be controlled by an actual current All Black against a South African counterpart in the video game 'Rugby Challenge 4' on Saturday night.

Dan's character, who will play in the number 14 jersey, will be controlled by All Black midfielder Jack Goodhue.

“They have chucked me on the right wing, so I’m hoping I might score a few tries. I don’t think I’ve played on the wing since I was 11-years-old.”

Because his body isn’t quite what it used to be, Dan is hoping the creators can add a bit of bulk to his avatar’s frame.

“I had to send in a heap of different angles so they can make me as realistic as possible. Nut I’m hoping they might beef up my muscles a little bit and make me look better than I do in real life.”

Having started playing rugby as a five-year-old, the black jersey has always been a goal for Dan.

“As a kid, I always thought I had a chance of being an All Black, I guess this is the closest I’m ever going to get.”

Dan plans to have some friends over for a barbecue and some beers to watch his international on-screen debut.

A number of his students are also looking forward to seeing their principal in action.

“They will come back after the holidays either saying ‘you were awesome', or 'you were rubbish’.”

Dan has his mother to thank for his selection as she was the one who originally nominated him.

“I guess it was a good bit of marketing for the school so thought there was no harm in chucking my name in the mix.”

Dan then submitted a video showcasing his rugby skills with a bit of a twist, - taking a literal approach to the box, banana, and chip kicks - kicking each of those actual objects. Then he threw his baby's dummy, held out Nelson Hospital pass, and cutout the word 'pass'.

“I took all those classic rugby terms and put them into everyday life. I thought if I could make it humorous, I might be in with a shot.”

The Alt Blacks vs South Africa will kick off at 6pm.

Visit steinlageraltblacks.co.nz for more information.