Taniela Tupou bags back-to-back Pilecki Medals

· Super Rugby
by Reds Media Unit

Taniela Tupou has etched his name into Queensland Rugby’s history books after being voted by his teammates as the St.George Queensland Reds best player for a second-straight year. 


He joins esteemed company with names like Jason Little, Chris Lathan, David Croft and more recently Will Genia, Liam Gill and Samu Kerevi to have won back-to-back Pilecki Medals as Queensland’s players’ player. 

The award is named after the late legendary Queensland prop Stan Pilecki – the state’s first centurion.

Tupou polled 273 votes across 14 games this year, edging out Hunter Paisami (175 votes) and Angus Scott-Young (138 votes) in third. 

“It means a lot to me. I’m just happy, we all worked hard and I’m just the lucky one to get the medal,” said Tupou after being awarded the medal.

“I couldn’t have done this without the boys. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to win this. To know they’re your mates, your team-mates and they trust in you and have faith in you means a lot to me. I love playing with them and hopefully we can do it again next year.”

Tupou was presented the medal at Queensland’s end of season awards lunch held at Sirromet Winery this afternoon, where two other awards were presented with Ryan Smith named Rookie of the Year and Angus Scott-Young was recognised as best displaying the Spirit of the Reds.

The team also recognised a number of other achievements from the 2021 season including nine Queensland debutants and six players who celebrated their 50th Queensland cap. 

2021 Award Winners

Pilecki Medal – Taniela Tupou
Rookie of the Year – Ryan Smith
Spirit of the Reds – Angus Scott-Young

2021 Pilecki Medal Top 10

1st – Taniela Tupou (273 votes)
2nd – Hunter Paisami (175 votes)
3rd – Angus Scott-Young (138 votes)
4th – Harry Wilson (134 votes)
5th – James O’Connor (123 votes)
6th – Alex Mafi (107 votes)
7th – Tate McDermott (106 votes)
8th – Suliasi Vunivalu (104 votes)
9th – Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (94 votes)
10th – Filipo Daugunu (83 votes)

Pilecki Medal History

2021 – Taniela Tupou (273 votes)
2020 – Taniela Tupou (302 votes)
2019 – Samu Kerevi (301 votes)
2018 – Samu Kerevi (191 votes)
2017 – George Smith (278 votes)
2016 – Liam Gill (282 votes)
2015 – Liam Gill (420 votes)
2014 – James Slipper (239 votes)
2013 – Jake Schatz (269 votes)
2012 – James Slipper (272 votes)
2011 – Will Genia (263 votes)
2010 – Will Genia (209 votes)
2009 – Digby Ioane (253 votes)
2008 – David Croft (195 votes)
2007 – David Croft (188 votes)
2006 – Rodney Blake (186 votes)
2005 – Nathan Sharpe
2004 – Chris Latham
2003 – Julian Huxley
2002 – Chris Latham
2001 – Toutai Kefu
2000 – Chris Latham
1999 – Chris Latham
1998 – Daniel Herbert
1997 – John Eales
1996 – Jason Little
1995 – Jason Little
1994 – Matthew Pini
1993 – Rod McCall
1992 – Peter Slattery

2021 Queensland Debutants

Ryan Smith – Queensland Rep No. 1357
Richie Asiata – Queensland Rep No. 1358 
Ilaisa Droasese – Queensland Rep No. 1359
Suliasi Vunivalu – Queensland Rep No. 1360
Kalani Thomas – Queensland Rep No. 1361
Sam Walls – Queensland Rep No. 1362
Isaac Henry – Queensland Rep No. 1363
Mac Grealy – Queensland Rep No. 1364
Hudson Creighton – Queensland Rep No. 1365

2021 Queensland Milestones

Alex Mafi – 50th Queensland cap
Angus Scott-Young – 50th Queensland cap 
Hamish Stewart – 50th Queensland cap
Brandon Paenga-Amosa – 50th Queensland cap
Liam Wright – 50th Queensland cap
Tate McDermott – 50th Queensland cap