Wellington College classmate, 1998
In 7th form Paradise showed up out of the blue: A giant Samoan from some tough school in South Auckland who told us he'd been in the New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby team the year before. At a rugby mad school that was big news and all summer the place was awash with talk of how good we'd be once Paradise bulked up our forward pack.
But over time the allure started to fade. Paradise turned out to be, well, a bit of a storyteller and by the time the trials came no-one was particularly suprised that he wasn't actually the player he'd painted himself to be. Like a mirage in the desert, Paradise was an illusion.