Taniela Tupou has signed a two-year deal with the Queensland Reds after standout performance in NZ high school rugby.
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New Zealand high school rugby sensation Taniela Tupou has signed a two-year contract with the Queensland Reds
Known as the “Tongan Thor”, Tupou shot into stardom this year after standout performances for the Sacred Heart College first XV in Auckland.
The 135kg prop’s speed and footwork caught the attention of the rugby world as a video went viral of the 18-year-old scoring a hat-trick for his school side.
Since then, Tupou has represented the Pacific Barbarians in an exhibition match against Tonga.
Reds coach Richard Graham said he was looking forward to having Tupou in the Reds program, but says the youngster still has a lot of work in front of him.
“I think he is a phenomenal athlete and his YouTube clip in late May is a snippet of what he is capable of at this early stage in his rugby career,” Graham said.
“He understands there is a lot of hard work in front of him.”
Tupou said he grew up supporting the Wallabies as they featured some Tongan players.
“I grew up in Tonga watching Wallabies and All Blacks games, I always supported the Wallabies because they had some great Tongan players,” Tupou said.
“When I think about the fact I’ve signed a contract with the Reds, I’m speechless. I’m just so excited to join the team, I can’t wait to meet everyone and start training. My goal now is to try and play for the Reds as soon as I can.”