- Midfield Back
- Date of birth
- 28 (5 tries, 1dg)
Tongan born Tane Tu’ipulotu is a highly skilled and hard running second five-eighth or centre who played one test for the Pacific Islanders against the All Blacks in 2004.
He also found a new New Zealand home for himself in 2004 when he transferred to the Hurricanes and the Vodafone Wellington Lions from Auckland, for whom he had played a standout role in the 2003 NPC.
He Duly carried that form into his first two Hurricanes seasons, earning nineteen caps over that time and impressing all, but injury curtailed his first two seasons with the Lions. Part of a logjam of international midfielders these injuries didn’t advance his cause, and by 2006 he found himself selected behind Tana Umaga, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith. He was loaned to the Manwatu Turbos for the Air New Zealand Cup and from there was drafted to the Chiefs for the 2007 Super 14.
In May 2007 he subsequently received a call-up to the Junior All Blacks as a replacement for Nonu – who in turn was called up to the All Blacks for an injured Smith – and in the absence of Smith (All Blacks) and Umaga (retired) was back at his best for Wellington in the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup, scoring two sensational tries in the team’s semi-final win over Canterbury in Christchurch.
In 2000 Tu’ipulotu had the distinction of playing in two IRB World Cups, appearing with the New Zealand U19s followed by the New Zealand U21s, making the Colts side again in 2001, the same year he made his Auckland debut.
He was a gifted athlete at school and won the New Zealand Secondary Schools pole vault title in 1999. His brother Salesi has played centre for New Zealand Universities.
He transferred to the Newcastle Falcons at the end of the 2008 Air New Zealand Cup on a three-year contract, joining former Hurricanes prop and Wellington captain Joe McDonnell.
Tu'ipulotu remained at Newcaslte until the conclusion of the 2010/11 English season, although he was sidelined with a hip injury throughout the second half of 2010.
He moved to Japan in 2011 to embark on the next phase of his career.
He then moved back to Newcastle for a second stint there but a knee injury forced his retirement from rugby at the start of the 2013/14 season.
- No One (Alicia Keys)
- Band or Singer:
- Book or Magazine:
- Women's Weekly
- Brave Heart
- Holiday Destination:
- Kingdom of Tonga
- Sport Team or Individual:
- Kelly Slater
- Cat (Kitty)
- Surfing, diving, and just relaxing
- St. Kentigern College
- University Course
- Exercise Sport
- Earliest Rugby Memory
- Primary School
- Position When Younger
- First five eight
- Most Admired Rugby Player
- Stephen Larkham
- Biggest Rugby Influence
- Most Memorable Rugby Moment
- Winning the Colts World Cup in 2001