Epalahame Lauaki

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Epalahame Lauaki
Epalahame Lauaki.JPG
Personal information
Full name Epalahame Vealoloko Lauaki[1]
Born (1984-01-27) 27 January 1984 (age 33)
Ha'apai, Tonga
Height 184 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 109 kg (17 st 2 lb)[2]
Playing information
Position Second-row, Lock, Prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2004–08 New Zealand Warriors 69 10 0 0 40
2009–11 Hull F.C. 56 5 0 0 20
2012–14 Wigan Warriors 35 2 0 0 8
2015–16 Bradford Bulls 33 2 0 0 8
Total 193 19 0 0 76
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2007 New Zealand 2 0 0 0 0
2008–10 Tonga 4 0 0 0 0
2012–13 Exiles 2 0 0 0 0
As of 29 August 2016
Source: [3]

Epalahame Lauaki (born January 27, 1984 in Ha'apai, Tonga) is a professional rugby league footballer who played for Championship side Bradford Bulls. He is the brother of All Black Sione Lauaki. He is the cousin of rugby league and union star Tevita Vaikona.[citation needed]

Early years[edit]

Lauaki was educated at Waitakere College and then at Kelston Boys High School and played for the Waitemata Seagulls and Glenora Bears in the Auckland Rugby League competition.

New Zealand Warriors[edit]

He was signed by the New Zealand Warriors and made his first grade debut on 14 March 2004 against Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. During his Warriors career he was used mainly as an interchange player, starting only ten games in sixty nine appearances. When not selected for the first grade side, Lauaki played for the Waitakere Rangers in the Bartercard Cup and the Auckland Lions and Auckland Vulcans in the NSW Cup. In 2007 he signed a three-year extension with the Warriors, making him a Warrior until the end of the 2010 season.[4]


On 23 February 2009 it was announced that Lauaki had been released by the Warriors so he could sign a 3-year deal to play for Hull F.C. in the Super League.

He made his Super League debut for Hull against Harlequins RL on 21 August 2009 and has since made himself a crowd favourite at the KC Stadium.[5]

After finally arriving at the KC Stadium late in 2009, Lauaki made his intentions clear with a number of brutally committed displays. The hard-working, powerful second-rower or prop forward will provide some serious physicality, along with good feet and a great offload and many teams will fear him this season. Those attributes were epitomised in 2010, with a stunning hand off on Leon Pryce to score against St. Helens on the opening day of the season, before a similar try against Salford later that year as he held off four men to touch down.


Lauaki joined Wigan in 2012. He made 35 appearances for the club, scoring two tries, before being released in January 2014.[6] He signed with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, but did not play a game and was released at the end of 2014.

Bradford Bulls[edit]

2015 - 2015 Season

Lauaki signed for Bradford on a 2 Year Deal. He did not feature in any of the pre-season friendlies.

He featured in Round 3 (Featherstone Rovers) then in Round 5 (Batley Bulldogs) to Round 7 (Halifax). He played in Round 9 (London Broncos) then in Round 11 (Sheffield Eagles) to Round 18 (Workington Town). He played in Round 21 (Sheffield Eagles) to Round 23 (Halifax). Lauaki played in Qualifier 1 (Sheffield Eagles) to Qualifier 7 (Halifax). Epalahame played in the £1 Million Game against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. He also featured in the Challenge Cup in Round 4 (Workington Town). He scored against Workington Town (1 try).

2016 - 2016 Season

Lauaki featured in the pre-season friendlies against Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers.

He featured in Round 1 (Featherstone Rovers) then in Round 16 (Dewsbury Rams) to Round 18 (Batley Bulldogs). He played in Round 20 (Leigh Centurions) and then in Round 22 (Oldham Roughyeds). Lauaki played in the Championship Shield Game 1 (Whitehaven) then in Game 3 (Oldham Roughyeds) to Game 4 (Dewsbury Rams). He scored against Oldham Roughyeds (1 try).


Statistics do not include pre-season friendlies.

Season Appearance Tries Goals F/G Points
2015 Bradford Bulls 24 1 0 0 4
2016 Bradford Bulls 9 1 0 0 4
Total 33 2 0 0 8

Representative career[edit]

In 2006 Lauaki was named in the New Zealand 'A' team that played against an Australian Invitational side.[7] In 2007 Lauaki was then named in the New Zealand Kiwis squad for the tour of Great Britain. He played in two tests for the Kiwis and also played in the All Golds match.

Lauaki then decided to switch his international allegiance to the nation of his birth, Tonga. In August 2008, Lauaki was named in the Tongan training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[8] and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man Tonga squad.[9] He played in three games at the tournament as well as a warm up game against the New Zealand Kiwis.

Personal life[edit]

Lauaki is the third eldest from a total of nine siblings. His parents Kepu and Mele Fale Lauaki both come from Tonga. His immediate family reside in Auckland, New Zealand.

Lauaki married Renee (née Halapua) from Hihifo, Tonga, whom he met in Auckland, New Zealand. They have two children together, the eldest, Kepu Lauaki Jr, who is named after his father, and his youngest son, Mana'ia Lauaki who was born in 2011. Lauaki and his family currently reside in England.

Lauaki is good friends with fellow Hull F.C. and Tonga team mates Willie Manu and Sam Moa. The trio are commonly known by the Hull fans as 'The Tongan Mafia'.


  1. ^ LAUAKI, EPALAHAME VEAR LOLOKO 2006 - 2007 - KIWI #734 nzleague.co.nz
  2. ^ "Hull F.C.". web page. Hull F.C. Retrieved 10 August 2011. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Epalahame Lauaki rugbyleagueproject.org
  4. ^ Lauaki signs to remain with the Vodafone Warriors for 3 years rleague.com, 29 October 2007
  5. ^ "League: Warriors release Lauaki". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Wigan: Epalahame Lauaki released by Super League club". BBC Sport. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  7. ^ NZ A - 2006 NZRL Official site
  8. ^ "Tug-of-war over Mason". Sky Sports. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  9. ^ "Samoa, Tonga and Fiji name squads". BBC. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 

External links[edit]