Piri Weepu

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Piri Weepu
Piri Weepu 2011 cropped.jpg
All Blacks parade after winning 2011 World Cup
Full name Piri Awahou Tihou Weepu
Date of birth (1983-09-07) 7 September 1983 (age 30)
Place of birth Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 96 kg (212 lb; 15 st 2 lb)
Notable relative(s) Billy Weepu (brother)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Scrum-half, flyhalf
New Zealand No. 1049
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–11
2012–
Wellington
Auckland
54
9
(249)
(27)
correct as of 21 October 2013.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–11
2012–
Hurricanes
Blues
84
30
(250)
(55)
correct as of 15 July 2013.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004– New Zealand 71 (103)
correct as of 24 June 2013.

Piri Awahou Tihou Weepu (born 7 September 1983) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer. He plays half-back for the All Blacks at international level, and the Blues in the Super Rugby competition. He first won national honours against Wales in 2004. In 2005 was called back into the All Blacks squad for the first Tri Nations test against South Africa, having missed selection for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour. He is the brother of former rugby league professional Billy Weepu.[1]

Early life[edit]

Of Māori and Niuean descent,[2] Weepu hails from Wainuiomata, he played his senior rugby with Hutt Old Boys Marist, under the tutelage of his mentor Derek Bruce. He attended Te Aute College where he was Head Boy.[citation needed]

Rugby career[edit]

During the 2006 Super 14 Final, Weepu was knocked unconscious during an attempted tackle. However, due to the bizarrely thick fog during the match, the team doctors were unable to see that he had been unconscious. Weepu continued playing, and went on to miss a tackle on Casey Laulala, conceding the match-winning try. Later Weepu admitted that he could not remember the game at all.[3]

Weepu was not selected for the 2007 Rugby World Cup squad, announced on 22 July 2007, with Canterbury halfback Andrew Ellis preferred.[citation needed]

During the 2011 Rugby World Cup Weepu played out of position in the last pool match against Canada, coming off the bench during the second half for Mils Muliaina to play fullback. Much pressure was on the All Blacks to win the Cup, after not having won it since 1987. This time round it looked to be New Zealand's year, but the unthinkable happened, All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter was struck with a season ending groin injury. This caused much media strife and even betting odds in favor of the All Blacks began to decrease. In the All Blacks vs Argentina quarter final match, Weepu took on Carter's goal kicking duties. Landing seven penalties with only a missed conversion. Weepu was named Man of the Match, helping guide New Zealand to victory, as well as earning him the nickname "Mr Fixit" or the "saviour".[citation needed]

Weepu currently[when?] leads the All Blacks team in the pre-match Haka, both the Ka Mate version and the newer Kapa O Pango.[citation needed]

NRL speculation[edit]

In 2007 the Gold Coast Titans approached Weepu to play rugby league.[4] Titans CEO Michael Searle said "He's a good player with plenty of experience at the top level in rugby union, and it would be good to get him back to rugby league if we can."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Watch it and Weepu Sydney Morning Herald, 12 August 2005
  2. ^ "Lunch for New Premier of Niue". Governor-General of New Zealand. New Zealand Government. 29 July 2008. 
  3. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20061125041603/http://www.scrum.com/super14/2006/news/news_detail.asp?newsid=36067
  4. ^ Walter, Brad (31 July 2007). "BK lures Perry to Sea Eagles". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 

External links[edit]