Suspected kidnapper ‘outstanding’ rugby talent

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Queenstown resident Pita Wilson, wanted over an alleged kidnap, was once feted as a potential All Black. 

“In the open-side flanker Wilson, the tourists had the outstanding player,” reads a 1995 report by British newspaper The Independent of a New Zealand Schools match at Cardiff Arms Park, Wales. 

“When Michael Jones decides to call it a day then do not be surprised if he comes into the reckoning.”

Wakatipu High old boy Wilson went on to play for North Harbour, Southland, club rugby in Japan and Wakatipu Premiers.

But he is perhaps best known for surviving being gunned down on the Gold Coast, Australia, in June 2006.

Wilson was shot five times in the stomach, shoulder and hands, near Surfers Paradise in a suspected gang-related incident. Charges were dropped against the man accused of shooting him.

Joshua Veint’s father, James Veint, said Wilson owned a Glenorchy stone quarry where Joshua worked.

Otago Daily Times