3 February 1990 |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||190 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||112 kg (17 st 9 lb)|
|Position||Prop, Lock, Second-row|
As of 4 March 2018
Martin Taupau (born 3 February 1990) is a rugby league footballer who plays for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the National Rugby League. A Samoa, and New Zealand national and World All stars representative, he plays as prop and lock forward, and previously played for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Wests Tigers.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Taupau is of Samoan descent. Taupau moved to Sydney, Australia as a 10-year-old and played junior rugby league for the Padstow Panthers and Greenacre Tigers. Taupau attended Endeavour Sports High School and represented the Australia Schoolboys team in 2008.
In Round 5, Taupau made his first grade debut against the New Zealand Warriors off the interchange bench in the Bulldogs 30-24 loss at ANZ Stadium, in what was his only appearance of the season. Taupau was selected in the Samoan train on squad and the Junior Kiwis, and captained the Junior Kiwis.
Taupau played as a starting prop for the first 7 rounds of the season in a period when James Graham was suspended. On 20 April, he made his international début for Samoa against Tonga in the Pacific Rugby League International at Penrith Stadium, playing off the interchange bench in Samoa's 36-4 loss. On 16 June, it was announced that the club had granted Taupau a release to join the Wests Tigers from the 2014 season on a 3-year contract. He finished the season with 11 appearances.
In February, Taupau was selected in the Wests Tigers inaugural Auckland Nines squad. In Round 1 against the St George Illawarra Dragons, he made his debut for the Wests Tigers in the Tigers 44-24 loss at ANZ Stadium, scoring a try in the match. Taupau’s good form for the Tigers lead to him being selected to debut for the New Zealand Kiwis in the May 2014 Anzac Test at SFS. He debuted off the interchange bench in the Kiwis 30-18 loss. Taupau was one of just two players to play in every Wests Tigers game for the season as well as scoring 3 tries, and was the club's second best for metres gained with the ball.
At the end of the year, Taupau played in all four of the Kiwis games as they won the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations. In the final against Australia in the Kiwis 22-18 win, Taupau left the ground with a suspected neck injury, but had already made three tackle breaks, three offloads, and was described as "the toast of the team." The New Zealand Herald said, "Time and again Taupau threw himself into the Australian line to see would-be defenders reeling."
Under new coach Jason Taylor, Taupau began the season playing as the team's starting lock. On 3 May, Taupau was selected for New Zealand in the 2015 Anzac Test, playing off interchange bench and gained the most metres amongst the New Zealand pack and had the most offloads of any forward for either side in the Kiwis 26-12 win. After receiving a crusher tackle during the game, Taupau made a throat-slitting gesture towards Australian opponent Sam Thaiday. Australian player Corey Parker said, "that's not a good look for the game, gee whiz. If you were a young kid looking in the stands watching that, I don't know what you're going to think." Parker did admit, "I think it would be fair to say 12 months ago you might not have known too much about Marty Taupau, but certainly you do now."
In Round 14 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Tigers shock upset 34-6 win at ANZ Stadium, Taupau scored his first career double. He was said to be, "huge for the Tigers, scoring two brutally powerful tries while providing much-needed aggression and power through the middle of the field." Finishing the season with 21 appearances and scoring 4 tries, Taupau would have completed his 2nd consecutive season without missing a game were it not for a 3-match suspension for a high shot on James Maloney, for which he was "widely panned".
On 30 October, Taupau signed a 4-year contract with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles starting in 2016, after being granted a release from the final year of his Tigers contract. The manner in which Taupau's signing was announced was a bungled affair. As Taupau was in England with the Kiwis on their tour of Great Britain, an e-mail that outlined the contract was supposed to be sent from a UK based solicitor to Manly CEO Joe Kelly. However, in an embarrassing foul up the e-mail was accidentally sent to the G-mail account of Canadian theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck who then announced Taupau's 4-year deal with the Sea Eagles on his Twitter page. Taupau would go on to play in all 3 matches against England in the Kiwis 2-1 Baskerville Shield series loss.
On 13 February, Taupau played for the World All Stars in the 2016 All Stars match. Initially selected on the interchange bench, the late withdrawal of Chris Lawrence saw him starting in the second row in the 12-8 win. In Round 1, Taupau made his club debut for Manly against the Bulldogs, starting at lock in the 28-6 loss at Brookvale Oval. In Round 2 against his former club the Wests Tigers, Taupau scored his first try for the Sea Eagles in the 36-22 loss at Leichhardt Oval. On 6 May, Taupau played for the Kiwis against Australia, playing off the interchange bench in the 18-0 loss.
In July 2017 Taupau enrolled in a Bachelor of Business degree after developing an interest in marketing and economics and attends lectures at the UTS (University of Technology Sydney) Ultimo campus one night per week after finishing his training with the Sea Eagles at Narrabeen. He has stated on record that he would prefer to be at university studying something than being in the gym lifting weights.
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- [permanent dead link]
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