|Halatau at the 2008 World Cup|
|Full name||Dene La Halatau|
27 January 1983 |
Invercargill, New Zealand
|Height||178 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (14 st 2 lb)|
|Position||Lock, Hooker, Centre, Second-row|
|As of 22 December 2012|
|Source: NRL Stats & RLP|
Dene Halatau (born 27 January 1983 in Invercargill, New Zealand) is a professional rugby league footballer for the Wests Tigers of the National Rugby League (NRL), with whom he won the 2005 NRL Premiership. A New Zealand international representative forward, he previously played club football for the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Halatau is of Niuean descent. In Round 13 of the 2003 NRL season he made his debut for the Wests Tigers against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval. He played mostly at centre in his first centre, scoring a double in his third game.
Halatau was first selected for the New Zealand national rugby league team in 2004. He mostly played at either centre or from the bench for the Wests Tigers in 2004 and 2005, playing over 20 games a year, but was moved to lock forward for the 2005 semi-final campaign. Halatau was awarded the Man of the Match for his two try effort against St. George in the 2005 Prelim Final,and a week later played in the Wests Tigers' 2005 NRL grand final victory over the North Queensland Cowboys. He played for New Zealand in the 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations.
Halatau was selected to play for the New Zealand national team at hooker in the 2007 ANZAC Test loss against Australia. He also went on the 2007 All Golds tour, playing against Great Britain at hooker. In August 2008, Halatau was named in the New Zealand training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, and in October 2008, he was named in the final 24-man Kiwi squad. Halatau was a member of the World Cup winning New Zealand team which defeated Australia in the 2008 World Cup Final at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
In August 2009, Halatau signed a 3 year deal with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs commencing in 2010. In his first two seasons he played 27 games, mostly from the bench but occasionally covering for Michael Ennis at hooker.
In 2012, Halatau was playing second-row in the starting team. He injured his knee in July and was unable to return to first grade.
Halatau played exclusively from the reserve bench in 2013, but made appearances in all 25 of the Bulldogs' games. He also made his first semi-final appearance since joining the club.
In July 2013, it was announced that Halatau would be returning to his previous club Wests Tigers on a two year contract from 2014. CEO Grant Meyer said, "His experience and leadership as a senior player is going to be invaluable for some of our younger players. We have been very clear that we are investing very heavily in our juniors and a player like Dene will provide leadership and mentoring for the group."
- Jackson, Glenn (2010-06-25). "A league of their own: islanders provide NRL family with ample opportunity to cross the cultural divide". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Anzac Test Match 2007". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "Kiwis select Sonny Bill". Sky Sports. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Kiwis to wait on Webb and Matai". BBC. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- "Canterbury Bulldogs backrower Dene Halatau ruled out for eight weeks with knee injury". Daily Telegraph. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "Dene Halatau snapped up as Wests Tigers add four players to 2014 roster". ABC News. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.