TJ Perenara

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TJ Perenara
Full name Thomas Tekanapu Rawakata Perenara
Nickname TJ
Date of birth (1992-01-23) 23 January 1992 (age 25)
Place of birth Porirua, New Zealand
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Weight 98 kg (216 lb; 15 st 6 lb)
School Mana College
Notable relative(s) Henry Perenara (cousin)
Marcus Perenara (cousin)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Halfback
New Zealand No. 1132
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2010– Wellington 16 ((15))
Correct as of 22 October 2016
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012– Hurricanes 83 ((200)40t)
Correct as of 6 August 2016
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
New Zealand under-20
New Zealand
Correct as of 26 November 2016

Thomas Tekanapu Rawakata "TJ" Perenara (born 23 January 1992) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer who represents the All Blacks internationally. The Hurricanes in the Super Rugby competition, and the Wellington Lions in the ITM Cup. He was part of the New Zealand Under 20s rugby team that won the 2011 IRB Junior World Championships in Italy.

He was born in Porirua, New Zealand.


Perenara scored a hat-trick of tries on his Super Rugby debut in a 46–19 victory against the Western Force in Perth on 10 March 2012.[1]

He was selected for the All Blacks squad for the 2013 The Rugby Championship.[2] Perenara made his debut in the first 2014 test against England, debuting with centre Malakai Fekitoa.

He was named in New Zealand's ultimately victorious 2015 Rugby World Cup squad, playing in multiple matches.[3]

Perenara was named vice-captain of the Hurricanes following Conrad Smith's departure to Pau. Perenara captained the Hurricanes multiple times in 2016 due to injuries to regular captain Dane Coles, including the semi-final against the Chiefs. Perenara was also named man of the match against the Sharks in the quarter-final, where he scored a try in the 42-0 victory, the first time in Super Rugby history that a team did not score any points in a knockout round.

Perenara was initially left out of New Zealand's All Blacks squad in 2016, but was called up as injury cover for Tawera Kerr-Barlow. Perenara and Kerr-Barlow were both kept in the squad for the Rugby Championship, the All Blacks deciding to have three halfbacks in the squad. During the competition, Aaron Smith began to decrease in form quality and had multiple off-field incidents. Perenara earned a start against Argentina in the championship, keeping the starting spot over Kerr-Barlow for the rest of the competition. He scored 4 tries during the competition, including two tries against South Africa and a nomination for Try of The Year against Argentina. Perenara has been used as New Zealand's Haka leader since Smith's off-field incidents too.

By the end of 2016 Perenara was established as New Zealand's first-choice halfback, with Aaron Smith's performance continuing to be incredibly poor upon his return to the international field. Perenara scored 4 tries during the 2016 Rugby Championship for the All Blacks.

Perenara became the highest try-scorer of all halfbacks in Suoer Rugby history in 2017 where he scored his 40th try. Perenara again took captaincy for multiple matches due to injuries to Dane Coles, including an 83–17 victory over the Sunwolves to open the season.


His father Thomas from Matata played for the Junior Kiwis in 1987 and in the New Zealand Softball Team (Black Sox) from 1987 to 1996. His mother Fiona (Farrow) played softball for New Zealand as did his grandmother Patricia Farrow and his uncle Jason Farrow. Perenara's paternal grandmother was born in Broken Hill, Australia. Two of his cousins, Henry and Marcus, played in the National Rugby League competition. He is also distantly related to Sonny Bill Williams.[4]


  1. ^ "Sharpe's milestone ruined by Hurricanes". 
  2. ^ "News". All Blacks. 
  3. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2015: Waisake Naholo in New Zealand squad". BBC Sport. 30 August 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  4. ^ TJ Perenara confident of full recovery The Dominion Post, 28 June 2012

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