Queensland Rugby Union today announced prop Taniela Tupou has signed a contract extension with the St.George Queensland Reds which will see him remain at Ballymore through 2020.
Tupou joined Queensland in late 2014 as an 18-year-old straight out of high school and has worked hard to establish himself as the Queensland Reds’ starting tighthead prop in 2018.
Still only 21 years old, Tupou made his Super Rugby debut in 2016 and last year earned his first Test cap for the Wallabies.
“Ballymore is my second home and the Reds are like my second family. This is where I started my professional carer and I really want to contribute to the team,” Tupou said.
“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 has also contributed significantly to the Queensland pathway, helping Queensland U20s to a national title and Brothers to lift the Hospital Cup in 2016, and playing a big role in Bond University Queensland Country’s first National Rugby Championship trophy last year.
Queensland Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “When Taniela joined the Reds he was known as a ball runner because of some videos from his school days.
“He might still be known for his big runs, but he’s worked incredibly hard to develop the rest of his game and I’d like to think he’s known as a tighthead prop and a scrummager now too.
“Taniela is only 21 and he’s developed a lot since joining the Reds as an 18-year-old. We’re pleased he has committed to Ballymore and the team for another two years and it’s exciting to think how much more development he has in him if he continues to work hard.”
The Queensland Reds’ host their second home game of the 2018 Vodafone Super Rugby season this weekend when they take on the Bulls from Pretoria, South Africa at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday 10 March at 6:45pm.
The event is a double header, with Queensland Women hosting NSW Women in the opening match of the inaugural Super W season at 4:00pm.
Queensland Representative Number: 1305
POB: Vaini, Tonga
School: Sacred Heart College, NZ
Representative honours: Queensland Country NRC (2015-), Queensland U20s (2016), Queensland (2016-), Barbarians (2017), Wallabies (2017-)
Super Rugby debut: 2016 v Brumbies, Canberra
Super Rugby caps: 19
Super Rugby points: 20 (4T)
Test Rugby debut: 2017 v Scotland, Edinburgh
Test Rugby caps: 1