Salesi Finau

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Salesi Finau
Date of birth (1973-05-05) 5 May 1973 (age 43)
Place of birth Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 103 kg (16 st 3 lb)
Rugby league career
Position Wing
Professional clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Canberra Raiders
1 (0)
National teams
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1995  Tonga 2 (4)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Centre, Wing
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1998–2005  Tonga 13 (5)
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team   Comps
2002  Tonga

Salesi Finau (born 5 May 1973 in Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga)[1] is a Tongan former rugby footballer. He represented Tonga in both the rugby league and rugby union sides.

Rugby league career[edit]

Salesi began his career with the Canberra Raiders Rugby League Club,[2] and played in the Tonga national rugby league team at the 1995 World Cup.[3] After impressing during the tournament he signed for Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club in the British Super League,[4]

Rugby union career[edit]


In late 1998 Finau signed for Welsh rugby union side Llanelli Scarlets under coach Gareth Jenkins.[5] Finau made 203 appearances for the side over the next six-year, becoming an instrumental team player, playing in 3 European Cup semi-finals and 2 Celtic League Titles, before ending his contract by mutual consent in September 2005.[6] He then signed for Bath Rugby under John Connolly,[7] spending a season at the West Country club before moving to French side Bourgoin.[8] Finau had a successful season at Bourgoin, and on completion announced that he had signed a 2-year contract for Cornish Pirates.[9] However, in June 2007, the club announced that they had agreed to release Finau from the deal when a family illness obliged him to return to his native Tonga.[10]


Finau received at least 13 caps for the Tongan national rugby union side,[1] and played in the Tongan rugby sevens side at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.[11]

TV Career[edit]

Salesi currently presents a cooking show on Television Tonga called 'Salsa with Salesi'.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Salesi Finau". Guinness Premiership official website. 
  2. ^ Griffiths, Wyn (8 November 2001). "Scotland's reward for Jacobsen". The Independent. London. 
  3. ^ Hadfield, Dave (9 October 1995). "Tonga robbed by Ridge's late kicks". The Independent. London. 
  4. ^ Hadfield, Dave (28 November 1995). "Tongans head for Warrington". The Independent. London. 
  5. ^ Llewelyn, David (12 November 1998). "Rugby union: Springboks cite flanker White". The Independent. London. 
  6. ^ "Scarlets exit for homebound Finau". BBC News. 5 September 2005. 
  7. ^ "Bath sign up Scarlets wing Finau". BBC News. 8 September 2005. 
  8. ^ "Bourgoin: Présentation des recrues" (in French). 18 July 2006. 
  9. ^ "Pirates sign ex-Bath player Finau". BBC News. 19 April 2007. 
  10. ^ "Pirates release Finau from deal on family grounds". Exeter Express and Echo. 28 June 2007. 
  11. ^ "Statistics: rugby sevens". BBC. 
  12. ^ "Tonga Broadcasting TV Programs".