Tonga Lea'aetoa

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Tonga Lea'aetoa
Full name Tonga Lea'aetoa
Date of birth (1977-03-04) 4 March 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth Auckland, New Zealand
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 123 kg (19 st 5 lb)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Prop
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004 - 05
2005 - 06
2006 - 09
2009 - 10
2010 -
Nottingham
Pau
London Irish
Toulon
Bayonne


88


(5)
correct as of 4 October 2010.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2002 -
2008
Tonga
Pacific Islanders
21
1
(5)
correct as of 4 October 2010.

Tonga Lea'aetoa (born 4 March 1977 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a New Zealand-Tongan rugby union player who currently plays for Bayonne in the French Top 14. Lea'aetoa's position of choice is as a prop.

Lea'aetoa's parents came from Tonga, he spent his childhood in Australia in Manly, Sydney. It was when he returned to New Zealand to attend boarding school at Auckland Grammar School that rugby union took over his sporting career at the age of 16. He started out as a centre, then played at full back and as a No 8 before ending up as a prop. The unusual shift of position was due to a change in his metabolism that saw him put on 20 kilogrammes between the ages of 17 and 18. The Tongan international was a relative latecomer to rugby union only taking up the sport 14 years ago[when?] in New Zealand. During his time in Sydney he spent several years at the Northern Suburbs Rugby Club.

Lea'aetoa arrived in England in July 2006 with a reputation as one of the most talented and versatile prop forwards in Europe. He is one of those rare individuals that can play effectively on either side of the front row.

His skill and versatility have earned him 19 caps for his country to date. He was ever present for the London Irish last season,[when?] the only player to play in all 31 games, a feat that saw him receive the club's 'Players' Player of the Season Award'.

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