Ukuma Ta'ai

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Ukuma Ta'ai
Ukuma Ta'ai.jpg
Ta'ai playing for the Auckland Vulcans
Personal information
Born (1987-01-17) 17 January 1987 (age 27)
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 105 kg (16 st 7 lb)
Playing information
Position Second-row, Prop
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2009–2012 New Zealand Warriors 52 7 0 0 28
2013– Huddersfield Giants 40 9 0 0 36
Total 92 16 0 0 64
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–2013 Tonga 5 0 0 0 0
Source: RLP, Huddersfield Giants Profile

Ukuma Ta'ai (born 17 January 1987) is a Tongan professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Huddersfield Giants of the Super League. His usual position is at Second Row but he can play at Prop.

Early years[edit]

Ta'ai was educated at Tonga College and originally played rugby union.

When he moved to Auckland, New Zealand, Ta'ai played for the University club and made the Auckland Rugby Union second XV.[1]

The following year, at the suggestion of a friend, he switched codes and joined the Mt Albert Rugby League Club and played in the Auckland Rugby League competition.[1] In 2008 he played for the Auckland Vulcans in the NSW Cup.

Ta'ai played rugby union on Fridays for Tonga College and played rugby league on Saturdays for his home village club, the Fuekafa of Te'ekiu.

Warriors[edit]

Ta'ai was signed by the New Zealand Warriors in 2009 and made his debut in a trial game against the North Queensland Cowboys.[2] He made his first grade debut in Round Two 2009 against the Manly Sea Eagles.[3] Ta'ai scored the Warriors first try against Penrith on 17 April after pouncing on a loose pass and crossing under the sticks.

He re-signed with the Warriors for the 2012 season but was told he would be released by the club at the end of the year.[4][5]

Huddersfield Giants[edit]

On 12 September 2012 Ta'ai signed with Huddersfield Giants until 2015. His transfer was held up by red tape, until in January 2013 he was granted a British work permit.[6] He scored his first try against Hull FC on 7 July 2013.

(For 2014 Super League season highlights, stats and results click on 2014 Super League season results)

Representative career[edit]

In 2006 Ta'ai played for Tonga in the Pacific Cup, picked from Tonga College's Under 19 rugby union team at the age of 19.[7] The Tongan team won the tournament.

He played for Tonga in the 2009 Pacific Cup.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lowe, Robert (20 May 2010). "NRL: Try-scorer Ta'ai on a learning curve". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Debut outings for new Warriors". One Sport. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Jones set to take on defending premiers Yahoo!Xtra Sport, 17 March 2009
  4. ^ an one of eight Warriors to extend contracts rleague.com, 29 May 2011
  5. ^ Ta'ai set to leave Warriors New Zealand Herald, 27 May 2012
  6. ^ "Ta'ai cleared to play for Huddersfield". 3 News NZ. 29 January 2013. 
  7. ^ TNRL Current Players Tongan National Rugby League

External links[edit]