Nepo Laulala

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Nepo Laulala
Birth name Nepo Eti Laulala
Date of birth (1991-11-06) 6 November 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth Motootua, Samoa
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Weight 116 kg (18 st 4 lb)
School Wesley College
Notable relative(s) Casey Laulala (brother)
Spouse Loriana Devoe
Rugby union career
Position(s) Tighthead Prop
All Black No. 1139
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011–15
2016−
Canterbury
Counties Manukau
43
0
(5)
(0)
Correct as of 23 October 2016
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013–15
2016−
Crusaders
Chiefs
31
0
(5)
(0)
Correct as of 31 July 2016
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015− New Zealand 13 (0)
Correct as of 25 November 2017

Nepo Laulala (born 6 November 1991) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer who plays as a Tighthead Prop for Canterbury in the ITM Cup, the Chiefs and for the All Blacks.[1]

Early life[edit]

Laulala was born in 1991 in Samoa. He boarded at South Auckland’s Wesley College, and after showing impressive form for their 1st XV, was enticed to Christchurch to join the Canterbury Academy.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Laulala made his ITM cup debut in 2011 in a Ranfurly Shield defence against North Otago. His performances for his province have seen him named in the Crusaders squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season.[3][4]

Laulala made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2013 against the Chiefs. Laulala announced in 2015 that the Chiefs would become his new team in 2016.

Laulala was selected as part of the 41-man wider training squad for the 2015 All Blacks squad. Laulala made his debut for New Zealand in the first test match of the year against Manu Samoa in Apia on 8 July, replacing Owen Franks off the bench in the 57th minute, with the All Blacks going on to win against Manu Samoa by 25-16. He played another 3 tests off the bench for the All Blacks in 2015 but narrowly missed out on selection for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Laulala had a serious knee injury at the start of the 2016 season, so did not play for the Chiefs, or the All Blacks for the whole of 2016, with All Black team mates Nehe Milner-Skudder, Charlie Ngatai and James Broadhurst missing the 2016 All Black season too.

2017-2018[edit]

Laulala returned to Super Rugby in 2017 and started in most games for the Chiefs that year, including a 64-minute performance in the game against the touring British and Irish Lions on 20 June 2017, which the Chiefs lost 34-6.

Laulala was not selected for the All Blacks again until the 2017 Rugby Championship, following Charlie Faumuina's move to Toulouse in France. In surprise to much of the public, Laulala was called in to start at 3 at the last minute for the second Bledisloe Cup test against Australia, which was a 35-29 win, following 95-test veteran Owen Franks tearing his Achilles' tendon the day before the match. Laulala's 61-minute performance was widely acclaimed after winning several opposing scrums for the All Blacks.[5] Laulala has become a regular starter for New Zealand in Franks' absence and started in every remaining test of the year following Franks' injury, making a total of nine test appearances for the All Blacks in 2017.

Laulala fractured his forearm in a 27-21 win against the Blues in round three of the 2018 Super Rugby season. Laulala was expected to be out of professional rugby for 8–12 weeks, but has still not recovered from injury. Laulala failed to make the field for the All Blacks during the 2018 mid-year tests and was not selected due to injury, much like his injured Chiefs teammate Kane Hames.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nepo Laulala Canterbury profile". Archived from the original on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Super Rugby Profile: Crusaders – Nepo Laulala". Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "2013 Investec Super Rugby Crusaders squad announced". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Nepo Laulala Crusaders Player Profile". Archived from the original on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Player Ratings: All Blacks v Wallabies - NZ Herald". Retrieved 15 February 2017. 

External links[edit]