Akuila Uate

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Akuila Uate
Akuila Uate (10 November 2008) (1).jpg
Uate playing for Fiji in 2008
Personal information
Nickname Aku,[1] Akuila the Thriller[2]
Born (1987-10-06) 6 October 1987 (age 26)
Votua, Fiji
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
Playing information
Position Wing, Fullback, Centre
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2008– Newcastle Knights 124 93 0 0 372
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–13 Fiji 11 12 0 0 48
2010–12 Prime Minister's XIII 2 2 0 0 8
2011–13 NRL All Stars 2 1 0 0 4
2011–13 Country NSW 2 2 0 0 8
2011–12 New South Wales 5 2 0 0 8
2011–12 Australia 5 3 0 0 12
Source: RLP

Akuila Uate (born 6 October 1987) is a Fijian professional rugby league footballer for the Newcastle Knights of the National Rugby League. A three time Dally M Winger of the Year, Uate has represented New South Wales in State of Origin and Fiji and Australia in international football.[3] He primarily plays wing but can fill in at fullback and centre.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Votua, Fiji, Uate moved to Australia at a young age and played his junior football for Woy Woy in New South Wales before being signed by the Newcastle Knights.

His speed and strength had seen Uate tipped as a future superstar by Knights legend, Andrew Johns. Johns said about Uate, "In all my years in rugby league I've never seen a better athlete than this bloke." He was also described by the talent scout who spotted him as "the next Lote Tuqiri".[4]

Uate played for the Knights' Premier League and Jersey Flegg teams in 2006.[5] He scored a try in the 2006 Jersey Flegg Grand Final. In Round 19 of the 2008 NRL season, Uate made his NRL debut for the Knights against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. He scored a try on debut. In 2009, he re-signed with the Knights on a 4-year contract.

In 2010, Uate started the season on the right wing due to regular right winger James McManus being injured. His form throughout the season kept McManus out of the right wing position.

At the 2010 Dally M awards, Uate won the Winger of the Year award as well as taking out the top try-scoring player award.

At the 2011 Dally M awards, Uate won the Winger of the Year for the 2nd time in a row. He finished the season as the highest try-scoring winger with 19 tries and lead the NRL in tackle-breaks. Uate finished off the 2011 season by winning the RLPA Players' Player of the Year Award. On 3 November 2011, Uate won the RLIF's International Winger of the Year Award beating the likes of Jason Nightingale and Jharal Yow Yeh.

Uate started the 2012 season slowly but soon regained form and finished the year with 18 tries. At the 2012 Dally M Awards, Uate was named the Winger of the Year for the 3rd consecutive season.[6]

On 6 March 2013, after speculation that Uate was going to sign with a Japanese Rugby Union club, he re-signed with the Knights on a 4-year contract.[7]

Representative career[edit]

While attending Brisbane Waters Senior College, Uate played for the Australian schoolboys in 2005.[8]

Uate played in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup for Fiji.[9] He was considered one of the tournament's 'Players to Watch' by NRL Live pre-tournament, he scored 5 tries, including a hattrick against France and lead the competition for line-breaks as Fiji made it to the semi-finals of the tournament.[10]

At the end of the 2010 season, Uate was selected in the Prime Minister's XIII team to take on Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby. He scored a try on debut.

In January 2011, Uate was selected in the NRL All Stars team after being the most voted in Knights player by the fans. He scored a try on debut.

In May 2011, Uate was selected for the Country Origin team in the annual City vs Country Origin match. He scored the winning try for Country.

In May 2011, Uate was selected for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2011 State of Origin series. He played all 3 games of the series and scored a try in the 3rd game.

In October 2011, Uate made his debut for Australia in a stand-alone test match against New Zealand held at Uate's home stadium, Ausgrid Stadium. He scored the first 2 tries of the game.

In October and November 2011, Uate played for Australia in the 2011 Four Nations tournament.

In April 2012, Uate was played for Australia in the 2012 ANZAC Test.

In May 2012, Uate was selected for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2012 State of Origin series. He scored the opening try of the series but was dropped for Game 3.

In September 2012, Uate was selected for the Prime Minister's XIII team again. He scored the last try of the game.

In 2013, his international eligibility was switched back to his native Fiji and he was named in their squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.[11]

Personal life[edit]

As a junior, Uate came 3rd in the underage Australian sprinting finals.

References[edit]

External links[edit]