24 December 1992|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Height||179 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||105 kg (16 st 7 lb)|
As of 1 September 2018
Mahe Fonua (born 24 December 1992) is a Tongan international rugby league footballer who plays as a winger or centre for the Wests Tigers in the NRL. He previously played for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League and Hull F.C. in the Super League. In 2012 he became the first Victorian born and bred player to play for the Melbourne Storm at NRL level.
Fonua attended school at Hallam Secondary College. Fonua played his junior football for the South Eastern Titans, Melbourne in the Victoria Rugby League, before being signed by the Canberra Raiders. In 2006 and 2007, Fonua represented the Victoria Under 15s team, he also represented the Victoria Under 18s team. In 2008 and 2009, he represented the Australian Capital Territory Under 18s team. He played for the Raiders' SG Ball team as the Storm did not have an SG Ball team at that time, before returning to Melbourne after being signed by the Melbourne Storm.
In Round 23 of the 2012 NRL season, Fonua made his NRL debut for the Storm against the Gold Coast Titans on the wing in the Storms 24-16 win at AAMI Park, becoming the first Victorian born and bred player to represent the Storm in first-grade. In Fonua's third game for the Storm in the Finals 1 week match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Fonua scored his first NRL try in the 24-10 win at AAMI Park, after previously being denied tries on four occasions by the video referee, once in his debut, twice in his second game, and once prior to his try in his third game. Fonua finished off his debut year with 4 matches and one a try. On 2 October, Fonua was named at wing in the Junior Kangaroos team to face the Junior Kiwis.
Fonua played in Storm's 2013 World Club Challenge victory over Leeds Rhinos. He was selected to play for his parents' country of origin Tonga on 20 April against Samoa in the Pacific Rugby League International at Penrith Stadium. He scored 2 tries in the 36-4 victory. On 10 June, Fonua extended his contract with the Storm, keeping at the club till the end of the 2015 season. In Round 21 against Raiders at Canberra Stadium, Fonua scored a hat-trick of tries in the 68-4 win including a spectacular set up for Will Chambers after the ball seemed almost certain to go dead, with some commentators comparing it to the famous set up by Greg Inglis during the centenary test. Fonua was selected in the Tonga 24 man 2013 Rugby League World Cup squad, playing in 2 of their 3 matches.
On 2 May, Fonua played on the wing for Tonga 16-18 loss in the Polynesian Cup. He finished his last season with the Melbourne Storm with 13 matches and 4 tries. On 17 October, he represented Tonga again, this time in their Asia-Pacific Qualifier match against the Cook Islands for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
On 1 August, he signed a 3-year contract with Super League team Hull starting in 2016. Fonua had an outstanding first season with the club and quickly established himself as a fan favourite. He helped Hull F.C. reach the Challenge Cup Final where they would go on to beat Warrington Wolves by a narrow score of 12-10. Fonua scored the first of Hull's two tries. In his first season in Super League, he scored 15 tries which contributed to him being selected for the Super League Dream Team along with 5 other Hull teammates.
On 26 August 2017, Fonua would go on to win the Challenge Cup for a second year in a row, contributing massively to the 18-14 win over Wigan Warriors by scoring two of Hull's three tries. Fonua finished the year with making the 2017 Super League Dream Team for a second year in a row, but this time as a winger.
At the start of the 2018 season, Fonua spent the first few weeks playing for The Western Suburbs Magpies in The Intrust Super Premiership NSW. After a number of good performances, Fonua was called up to play for The Wests Tigers. Fonua made his debut for the club in their 22-20 defeat to The Parramatta Eels. On 15 May, Fonua was demoted to reserve grade for showing up late to training.
- World Club Challenge: (1) 2013
- Challenge Cup: (2) 2016, 2017
- Super League Dream Team: (2) 2016 as a Centre and 2017 as a Winger
- "Mahe Fonua - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Tonga name 58-man squad for Cook Islands qualifier". theroar.com.au. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
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- "Mahe Fonua". Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Rd 23 Late Mail & Live Chat". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
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- "No Storm Cloud for Stoked Fonua". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Junior Kangaroos side announced". NRL.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
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- "Storm Lock Up Young Talent Including Local Boy Mahe Fonua". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Melbourne Storm snap Raiders' 12-game home streak with 64-point thrashing - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- Ryan, Nathan (2013-08-05). "Freakish Mahe Fonua the new Greg Inglis following try-assist heroics in Melbourne victory". News.com.au. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Tonga Names Rugby League World Cup 2013 Squad | News". Triple M. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Squads For Auckland Nines". Rugby League Week. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- "Tonga Named To Face Samoa In Pacific Test". Rugby League Week. 2015-04-26. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Video : Samoa v Tonga". Foxpsorts.com.au. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- Laybourn, Ian (2015-08-01). "Mahe Fonua signs for Hull from Melbourne Storm on three-year deal | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Wests Tigers sign former NRL wingers Corey Thompson and Mahe Fonua from 2018". Fox Sports. 2017-06-08. Retrieved 2017-06-08.