Keven Mealamu

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Keven Mealamu
Keven Mealamu.jpg
Full name Keven Filipo Mealamu
Date of birth (1979-03-20) 20 March 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth Tokoroa, New Zealand
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight 111 kg (17 st 7 lb)[1]
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Hooker
New Zealand No. 1026
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1999–2015 New Zealand Auckland 65 (70)
correct as of 14 September 2012.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2000– 2015
2002
New Zealand Blues
New Zealand Chiefs
164
11
(55)
(10)
correct as of 18 April 2015.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2002–2015  New Zealand 132 (60)
correct as of 31 October 2015.

Keven Mealamu MNZM (born 20 March 1979 in Tokoroa, Waikato, New Zealand) is a New Zealand retired rugby union footballer. He played at hooker for the Blues in Super Rugby, Auckland in the National Provincial Championship, and the New Zealand national team, All Blacks. He was a key member of 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup winning teams, becoming one of only twenty dual Rugby Union World Cup winners.

In a Bledisloe Cup test match against Australia on 20 October 2012, Mealamu became the third All Black to reach 100 test appearances. He clinched the 2003 Super Rugby Title.[2]

Early life[edit]

He is a former student of Aorere College, where his brother and former Manu Samoa player Luke Mealamu currently works as a social worker. He played as a flanker for New Zealand Under-16s and New Zealand Schools before switching to hooker in 1998.

Career[edit]

Mealamu made his provincial debut for Auckland in 1999 against North Harbour.[3] He first played for the Blues in 2000, but had a stint with the Chiefs in 2002 – the same year he debuted for the All Blacks. Mealamu also made a fine contribution to the start of the All Blacks' 2006 Tri Nations campaign with two tries against the Wallabies during the first match. Mealamu captained the Blues through their 2006 Super 14 campaign, but was forced to relinquish the captaincy in 2007 due to his commitments to the All Blacks. In 2014, he made his 150th appearance for the Blues, becoming the first player in Super Rugby history to make 150 appearances for one team.[4]

International[edit]

Mealamu made his debut for the All Blacks on 23 November 2002, against Wales at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.[5] He was made test captain in the test match against Scotland during the All Blacks 2008 Grand Slam tour, as regular captain Richie McCaw was a reserve for that match. He was a part of New Zealand's 2011 Rugby World Cup winning squad.

Mealamu was known for his hard-tackling approach to the game[6][7] and it has occasionally made him the subject of controversy. He and captain Tana Umaga were involved in a controversial spear tackle on Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll on 25 June 2005.[8] Following a test match against England at Twickenham on 6 November 2010, Mealamu was cited by the independent citing commissioner (John West, Ireland) for headbutting Lewis Moody.[9]

The 2015 Rugby World Cup Final on 31 October was his last match as an All Black. He was one of five senior players who retired after the competition.[5]

Leading of the Haka[edit]

Mealamu became an important part of the leadership team of the national side[10][7] and led the haka for the All Blacks 31 times. He led the Ka Mate version 23 times and the newer Kapa o Pango version 8 times. He first led the team in September 2007 against Italy. In his final international test he led the Kapa o Pango haka before the final against Australia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Personal life[edit]

Mealamu is a skilled artist and has illustrated several books to raise money for the Starship Children's Hospital.[7] A practicing Catholic, he and his wife Latai have two children.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]