|Full name||Clinton James Te-Whata Toopi|
|Born||29 February 1980|
Stratford, New Zealand
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||100 kg (15 st 10 lb) |
Clinton James Te-Whata Toopi (born 29 February 1980) is a former professional rugby league and rugby union footballer who played in 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 the Gold Coast Titans, and in the Super League for the Leeds Rhinos.
Rugby league career
Toopi was born in Stratford, New Zealand, and 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. His first grade career began with the then Auckland Warriors, débuting 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.
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.
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 début on 4 August 2006 against Hull FC.
Rugby union career
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.
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. He agreed to join the Gold Coast Titans for 2010.
Return to league
During the 2010 pre-season Toopi trialed with the Gold Coast Titans. He did enough to impress management and earn a one-year contract. This was later extended for the 2011 season. He retired at the end of 2011.
- TOOPI, CLINTON JAMES TE-WHATA 2001 - 2007 - KIWI #688 Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine nzleague.co.nz
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Clinton Toopi - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. 29 February 1980. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.323.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Lawton, Aaron (5 April 2009). "Japanese scouts eye Toopi". Stuff.co.nz.
- "Former Manly mayor calls it a day". Goldcoast.com.au. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- Recycled Toopi into mix for Steamers Rotorua Daily Post, 18 June 2009
- "Elgey still preferred five-eighth". Goldcoast.com.au. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- Toopi signs NRL deal with Titans NRL.com, 5 March 2010
- Clinton Toopi set to retire after fainting in Gold Coast Titans game NRL game against Melbourne Storm Couriermail.com, 15 August 2011
- Maori draw with England New Zealand Herald, 16 October 2010
- (archived by web.archive.org) Profile at leedsrugby