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 31)
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, Fly-half
New Zealand No. 1049
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2014- London Welsh
Wainuiomata RFC
7 0
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–11
2012–2014
Wellington
Auckland
54
9
(249)
(27)
correct as of 21 October 2013.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–11
2012–14
Hurricanes
Blues
84
40
(250)
(58)
correct as of 13 July 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–2013 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 but returned to his roots and signed with Wainuiomata RFC where along with fellow local product Earl Va'a helped the club win promotion to the Premier Division in 2006 and turned the club into genuine title contenders. He attended Te Aute College where he was Head Boy in 2001.[3]

Rugby career in New Zealand[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.[4]

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 was left out of the All Blacks squad for the June tests in 2013, being told he needed to work on his speed and defensive ability.[citation needed] He was named in the squad for the late Autumn tour of Argentina, but received little playing time.

Haka[edit]

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

London Welsh[edit]

Weepu has signed to join London Welsh. He will leave the Auckland Blues following the end of the 2014 Super Rugby season.[5][6]

NRL speculation[edit]

In 2007 the Gold Coast Titans approached Weepu to play rugby league.[7] 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. ^ Walter, Brad; Mascord, Steve; Prichard, Greg (12 August 2005). "Former Kiwi prop Todd named in drug-ring investigation". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Governor-General of New Zealand (29 July 2008). "Lunch for New Premier of Niue" (Press release). New Zealand Government. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Dow, Jonathan (10 September 2005). "Te Aute's glories now in print". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  4. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20061125041603/http://www.scrum.com/super14/2006/news/news_detail.asp?newsid=36067
  5. ^ Napier, Liam (10 July 2014). "Piri Weepu to leave Blues for London Welsh". Dominion Post. Fairfax NZ. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Weepu to join London Welsh". Rugby Week. Sports Digital Media. July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Walter, Brad (31 July 2007). "BK lures Perry to Sea Eagles". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 

External links[edit]