Piri Weepu

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Piri Weepu
USO - UBB - 20150829 - Piri Weepu.jpg
Weepu post match for Oyonnax, August 2015
Full namePiri Awahou Tihou Weepu
Date of birth (1983-09-07) 7 September 1983 (age 38)
Place of birthLower Hutt, New Zealand
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight96 kg (212 lb; 15 st 2 lb)[2]
SchoolTe Aute College
Notable relative(s)Billy Weepu (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Half-back, First five-eighth
All Black No. 1049
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2003–2011 Wellington 54 (254)
2004–2011 Hurricanes 84 (250)
2012–2014 Blues 40 (53)
2012–2013 Auckland 9 (27)
2014–2015 London Welsh 14 (0)
2015 Wasps 3 (0)
2015 Oyonnax 8 (5)
2016–2017 Narbonne 8 (0)
2017 Wairarapa Bush 8 (5)
Correct as of 8 June 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004 New Zealand U21 5 (0)
2004–2013 New Zealand 73 (110)
2005 Junior All Blacks 3 (0)
2005–2008 New Zealand Māori 7 (14)
Correct as of 8 June 2019

Piri Awahou Tihou Weepu (born 7 September 1983) is a retired New Zealand rugby union player. Weepu played most recently for Wairarapa Bush in the Heartland Championship. Generally Weepu played as a half-back but also played at first five-eighth on occasion. He has represented the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, between 2004 and 2013. He first won national honours against Wales in 2004. In 2005 was called back into the All Blacks squad for the first Tri Nations test against South Africa, having missed selection for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour. He represented the Hurricanes and Blues in Super Rugby, and Wellington and Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup. He also had brief spells with several clubs in Europe. In October 2017, Weepu announced his retirement as a rugby player.[3]

Early life[edit]

Of Māori and Niuean descent,[4] Weepu hails from Wainuiomata. He attended Te Aute College where he was Head Boy in 2001.[5] After leaving school he played senior rugby with Hutt Old Boys Marist, under the tutelage of his mentor Derek Bruce, but returned to his roots and later joined Wainuiomata RFC with whom he remained affiliated throughout his professional career.

New Zealand career[edit]

Domestic career[edit]

During the 2006 Super 14 Final, Weepu was knocked unconscious during an attempted tackle. However, due to the bizarrely thick fog during the match, the team doctors were unable to see that he had been unconscious. Weepu continued playing and went on to miss a tackle on Casey Laulala, conceding the match-winning try. Later Weepu admitted that he could not remember the game at all.[6]

International career[edit]

Weepu was not selected for the 2007 Rugby World Cup squad, announced on 22 July 2007, with Crusaders halfback Andrew Ellis preferred.[citation needed]

During the 2011 Rugby World Cup Weepu played out of position in the last pool match against Canada, coming off the bench during the second half to play fullback as a replacement for Mils Muliaina. There was great pressure on the All Blacks to win the Cup, not having won it since 1987. This time round it looked to be New Zealand's year, but All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter was struck with a season-ending groin injury. This caused much media attention, and betting odds in favor of the All Blacks began to decrease. In the All Blacks vs Argentina quarter-final match, Weepu took on Carter's goal kicking duties. Landing seven penalties, with only a missed conversion, Weepu was named Man of the Match, helping guide New Zealand to victory, as well as earning him the nicknames "Mr Fixit" and "saviour".[citation needed] In the final against France he missed two penalties and a conversion; however, New Zealand emerged victorious due to a Tony Woodcock try and a Stephen Donald penalty.[7]

Weepu was left out of the All Blacks squad for the June tests in 2013, being told he needed to work on his speed and defensive ability.[citation needed] He was named in the squad for the late autumn tour of Argentina, but received little playing time.

Leading of the haka[edit]

Weepu was an integral part of the All Blacks when it came to performing the haka before each game. Of the 71 tests he played in he was the haka leader in 51 of them (12 November 2005 – 22 June 2013); this is the most for any player since the introduction of Kapa o Pango in 2005. 26 times he led the Ka Mate version of the haka as well as 25 times the newer Kapa o Pango haka.

Piri Weepu leads the Kapa o Pango haka for the All Blacks

European career[edit]


Weepu signed to join London Welsh in July 2014 and left the Auckland Blues at the end of the 2014 Super Rugby season.[8][9]

On 27 February 2015, it was announced Weepu had been released early from London Welsh and would join fellow Aviva Premiership side Wasps on a short-term deal until the end of the 2014-15 season.[10]


On 23 February 2015, it was announced Weepu would be joining Top 14 side Oyonnax on a two-year deal from the 2015-16 season.[11] On 15 January 2016 Oyonnax have announced the termination of Weepu's contract with immediate effect, without giving any reason.

Instead, on 28 November 2016, Weepu signed with Pro D2 club RC Narbonne with immediate effect during the 2016-17 season.[12]

NRL speculation[edit]

In 2007 the Gold Coast Titans approached Weepu to play rugby league.[13] Titans CEO Michael Searle said "He's a good player with plenty of experience at the top level in rugby union, and it would be good to get him back to rugby league if we can."

Personal life[edit]

He is the brother of former rugby league professional Billy Weepu.[14] He revealed in 2020 that he still resides in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt, and that he suffered a stroke in 2014 while playing for London Welsh. He also suffered from weight issues, alcoholism and self harm tendencies throughout his playing career, as well as sleep apnea. He also has no cartilage in either of his knees.[15]


  1. ^ http://stats.allblacks.com/asp/Profile.asp?ABID=1051
  2. ^ http://stats.allblacks.com/asp/Profile.asp?ABID=1051
  3. ^ "Rugby: Piri Weepu announces retirement". NZ Herald. 14 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  4. ^ Governor-General of New Zealand (29 July 2008). "Lunch for New Premier of Niue" (Press release). New Zealand Government. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  5. ^ Dow, Jonathan (10 September 2005). "Te Aute's glories now in print". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Rugby Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Fixtures, Results, Tables - ESPN". Archived from the original on 25 November 2006.
  7. ^ "2011 Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand 8-7 France". BBC. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  8. ^ Napier, Liam (10 July 2014). "Piri Weepu to leave Blues for London Welsh". Dominion Post. Fairfax NZ. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Weepu to join London Welsh". Rugby Week. Sports Digital Media. July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Wasps: Piri Weepu and Martyn Thomas join Premiership club". BBC Sport. 27 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Weepu swaps London Welsh for Oyonnax". ESPN Scrum. 23 February 2015.
  12. ^ "RC Narbonne sign former All-Black halfback Piri Weepu from Oyonnax". L'Independent.fr. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  13. ^ Walter, Brad (31 July 2007). "BK lures Perry to Sea Eagles". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  14. ^ Walter, Brad; Mascord, Steve; Prichard, Greg (12 August 2005). "Former Kiwi prop Todd named in drug-ring investigation". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Match Fit Season 1 Ep 3 | DOCUMENTARY/FACTUAL | ThreeNow". www.threenow.co.nz. Retrieved 3 November 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tom French Memorial
Māori rugby union player of the year

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Succeeded by