'The Tongan Thor' commits to Wallabies

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 10:39
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NEWS: Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou has agreed to a new deal with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Rugby Union until the end of 2020.

The man dubbed 'The Tongan Thor' first joined the Reds in 2014 before making his Super Rugby debut in 2016.

Tupou then became Wallaby number 917 after running on against Scotland at Murrayfield on the Spring Tour last year.

Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou said: "As a young boy growing up in Tonga, all I ever wanted to do was to play for Australia one day.

"To make my debut against Scotland was a dream come true but the work doesn't stop now. I want to play more games and play at the World Cup in Japan as well.

"Now I'm here, I'm grateful to my family, to the Wallabies and also the Reds.

"Ballymore is my second home and the Reds are like my second family. This is where I started my professional career and I really want to contribute to the team.

"We're learning a lot from Brad [Thorn]. He knows how to win. We're a young team who are working hard for each other, it feels like we are heading in the right direction and I want to be a part of that," Tupou said.

The 21-year old starred for Queensland Country in their successful National Rugby Championship campaign last year before being called up to the Wallabies Spring Tour squad by Michael Cheika.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: "Taniela is still young for a prop, so we know the best years are ahead if he continues to knuckle down and work hard.

"We've got some great young tightheads in the country right now which will only make the Wallabies and Australian rugby stronger.

"Brad [Thorn] and his coaching staff have been doing a great job in Queensland ushering through the next generation and it's very pleasing to see Taniela commit through," Cheika said.