'Tongan Thor' weighs up overseas offers
July 15, 2014
Taniela Tupou has attracted offers from Australia and Europe © Getty Images
Frustrated by passport issues, Auckland teenage sensation Taniela Tupou says he will move to Australia and chase the gold jersey if he does not get the chance to play for New Zealand.
The 18-year-old student at Auckland's Sacred Heart College has been under the spotlight since video emerged of him destroying opposition defences to score three tries in 20 minutes two months ago.
Too much, too young
"The Tongan Thor", who recently returned from a players' development camp after being selected in the Blues Under-18 squad, told the New Zealand Herald not being able to play for the national secondary schools' team because he did not hold a NZ passport had been hard.
"They said that 'if you're not on a New Zealand passport and you've been here for four years, you can play for the team'. But I've been here for four years and they said I can't play for the New Zealand A team. It's not fair.
Tupou moved to New Zealand since late 2010 and although the All Blacks would be his first choice, he said he was starting to look at options across the Tasman, where he had had offers. He has yet to be contacted by the New Zealand Rugby Union to talk about his eligibility.
"Maybe I'm not good enough to stay here," he said. "But that's one of my goals this year - to play for the New Zealand A team. If I can play with them, then maybe I'll change my mind from going to Australia. If I have the chance to play for the All Blacks, I'll take it. If I can't make the All Blacks and I can't make the Wallabies, then maybe I'll play for the other one - [Tongan national rugby team] Ikale Tahi."
Tupou scored within the first minute of play for the Blues Under-18s in Remuera on Sunday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"Family is Jean's priority and he puts that into a team context." Firdose Moonda pays tribute to Jean de Villiers with input from Allister Coetzee
The Monday Maul turns its attention to drunken nights out, a blunt-talking coach, hidden agendas and crooked feeds
As if beating the Springboks and Pumas on their home turf is not onerous enough Australia, it also involves a road trip from hell writes Greg Growden
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer