Sail, 21, has spent the last two years on a youth professional contract and was delighted to take the next step with the A League club.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend putting my best foot forward every week and hopefully will get to make my A-League debut having been on the subs bench three times without getting on the field,” Sail said.

“With Mossy involved with the All Whites there is a chance of that happening if I keep working hard in training.”

Sail might not have been having this conversation had he turned his hand seriously to rugby after dipping his toes in that water as a youngster.

“I was playing junior football for Central United when I was asked to play rugby, probably because of my build.

“For a while I played both codes with rugby in the morning and football in the afternoon.”

When he opted for football full time Sail was immediately thrown in goal because of his height and has never looked back.

“I can only ever remember playing in goal and soon realised I had a knack for it,” he said with a smile.

“I was part of the New Zealand youth set up early on and Jonathan Gould was involved in the coaching.

“Gouldy took the team away to play in an international tournament and I had a really good game against Brazil, keeping a clean sheet.

“He told me he was interested in taking me down to the Phoenix and introduced me to Ernie Merrick.”