Lima Sopoaga

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Lima Sopoaga
Full name Lima Zachariah Sopoaga
Date of birth (1991-02-03) 3 February 1991 (age 24)
Place of birth Wellington, New Zealand
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 91 kg (14 st 5 lb)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position First five-eighth
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
correct as of 20 October 2014.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2011– Highlanders 39 (344)
correct as of 24 April 2015.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2011 New Zealand U20 4 (15)
correct as of 4 November 2012.

Lima Sopoaga (born 3 February 1991 in Wellington, New Zealand) is a professional rugby union player who represents the Southland Stags in the ITM Cup and the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition.

Playing career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Sopoaga is the oldest among six siblings. His younger brother, Tupou Sopoaga, currently plays for the Penrith Panthers in the NRL. In his high school days, Sopoaga attended Wellington College and won four local championships with the 1st XV.[citation needed] He captained the side in 2009 and was selected for the NZ Secondary Schools team.[citation needed]

Provincial Rugby[edit]

Wellington Lions[edit]

At the age of 19, Sopoaga played for Wellington in the 2010 ITM Cup, making his debut against Manawatu. His strong performances established himself as the squad's starting number 10. He finished the season with 88 points in 9 appearances to help Wellington to reach the semi-finals of the competition, where he scored 21 points. Wellington unfortunately fell to Canterbury who went on to win the competition.[citation needed].

Southland Stags[edit]

In late May 2014, Sopoaga announced that he will be joining the Southland Stags for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The transfer from the Wellington Lions to the Stags keeps Sopoaga in Highlanders territory. He will take the five-eighth starting position from Scott Eade with Eade moving to the half back position. Playing for Southland, Lima joins other current Highlanders such as John Hardie, Elliot Dixon and Josh Bekhuis.

Besides the signing of new head coach Brad Mooar from South African Super Rugby team the Southern Kings, Sopoaga is the first major signing of the 2014 ITM Cup season for the Southland Stags. He will play in integral role in a new and improved Stags back-line that boasts the talents of Willis Halaholo and Hurricanes player Cardiff Vaega in the mid-field, Scott Eade and Tayler Adams at halfback, and new 2014 prospects Jamie Verran and the Lolohea Loco in the outside backs. A traditional forwards focused Stags game-plan may be altered to incorporate the exciting potential of the young back-line grouping.

Sopoaga is excited by the move, as reported by Rugby Southland; “The opportunity came up and it is a good fit to stay in the Highlander franchise and represent the region in the Super 15 and ITM Cup. I’m really starting to feel at home in the south now and proud to be part of the region. The Stags boys in the Highlanders have nothing but good things to say about the Stags and the Southland province and I’m looking forward to getting to Southland and giving my all for my new team.”

Super Rugby[edit]

Sopoaga followed his former Wellington coach Jamie Joseph south, signing on with the Highlanders for the 2011 Super Rugby season. Expected to back up Colin Slade, he ended up starting the opening game of the season against the Hurricanes due to Slade being injured. He responded in fine fashion by scoring a try and kicking two penalties in a 14-9 victory. However, in his second start of the season he suffered a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the team until the late stages of the season.[citation needed]

External links[edit]