Rugby: Tongan Thor set for Super Rugby debut

Taniela Tupou is set to make his long-awaited Super Rugby debut. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Taniela Tupou is set to make his long-awaited Super Rugby debut. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The Tongan Thor is set to thunder into Super Rugby for the Queensland Reds on Friday night.

Taniela Tupou, who is just 20-years-old but 130kg, has been named on the bench for the clash against the Brumbies having caused a sensation as a New Zealand schoolboy.

Tupou, who was born in Tonga, earned his mythical nickname after video emerged in 2014 of him battering the opposition and scoring a hat-trick for Auckland's Sacred Heart College.

The powerful teenager pummelled players from Kelston Boys High School but also showed an impressive turn of pace.

New Zealand Rugby Union were keen to get him involved in their junior teams on the way to becoming an All Black, but Tupou instead expressed a desire to eventually play for the Wallabies.

With two of his siblings living in Australia, the young prop forward opted to join the Reds in 2015 and signed a two-year contract.

'I grew up in Tonga watching Wallabies and All Blacks games, I always supported the Wallabies because they had some great Tongan players,' Tupou told the Queensland Reds official website at the time.

He has since played for Queensland's age-group sides - helping them to a crushing 35-5 victory over Melbourne Rebels in the Under-20s final in April - as well as club rugby for Brothers in the Brisbane Premier Division.

And he's continued to terrorise defences, bouncing off tacklers and storming through the gain line seemingly at will.

As if that wasn't enough, video footage shows Tupou also has a mesmerising sidestep and the ability to pick a pass.

Tupou's call up for the senior Reds side is even more dramatic given the fact he injured his ankle in that Under-20s win over the Rebels and needed surgery that was expected to keep him out for around three months.

-Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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