Clinton Toopi

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Clinton Toopi
Clinton Toopi.jpg
Personal information
Full name Clinton James Te-Whata Toopi[1]
Born (1980-02-29) 29 February 1980 (age 36)
Stratford, New Zealand
Playing information
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb) [2]
Rugby league
Position Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–06 Auckland Warriors 129 57 0 0 228
2006–08 Leeds Rhinos 46 10 0 0 40
2010–11 Gold Coast Titans 27 6 0 0 24
Total 202 73 0 0 292
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2000–10 New Zealand Māori 4 2 0 0 8
2001–07 New Zealand 22 11 0 0 44
Rugby union
Position Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2009 Bay of Plenty
Source: [3]

Clinton Toopi (born 29 February 1980 in Stratford, New Zealand) is a former professional rugby footballer of the 2000s and 2010s. A New Zealand international representative centre, he played his club football in the National Rugby League for the New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans and in Super League for the Leeds Rhinos.

Rugby league career[edit]

Toopi began his career playing rugby league with the junior ranks of the Mt Wellington and Otahuhu Leopards clubs. He played for Auckland South in the 1999 provincial competition.[4] His first grade career began with the then Auckland Warriors, debuting against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on 2 May 1999. He went on to play 119 games for the club, including the 2002 NRL Grand Final loss to the Sydney Roosters.

On 31 May 2006 Leeds Rhinos announced the capture of Toopi for the 2007 season as a replacement for Chev Walker. On 17 July he was granted an early release from the New Zealand Warriors so he could join the Rhinos for the rest of the season, this was granted the day before the deadline to register players in Super League. He made his debut on 4 August 2006 against Hull FC.[5]

Rugby union career[edit]

On 23 August 2008 Leeds released Toopi, due to a knee reconstruction that would keep him out of action for 9 months. He attracted interest from the Japanese rugby union club Sanyo Wild Knights and expressed interest in joining the Manly Sea Eagles in the National Rugby League competition however he did not secure a contract.[6][7]

Toopi instead returned to New Zealand and switched to rugby union, joining the Whakatane Marist team in the Eastern Bay rugby union competition. On 18 June 2009 it was announced that he had made the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union's squad for the Air New Zealand Cup, justifying his switch of codes.[8] He agreed to join the Gold Coast Titans for 2010.

Return to league[edit]

During the 2010 pre-season Toopi trialed with the Gold Coast Titans.[9] He did enough to impress management and earn a one-year contract.[10] This was later extended for the 2011 season. He retired at the end of 2011.[11]

Representative career[edit]

In 2000 Toopi was part of the Aotearoa Maori side that played at the World Cup.

Toopi represented New Zealand on twelve occasions between 2001 and 2005. Toopi played for the Kiwis 14 times. He scored three tries in one match against Australia in the 2005 Tri Nations.

Toopi again played for the New Zealand Māori in 2010, captaining the side against England.[12]

External links[edit]