Victor Vito (rugby union)
|Full name||Victor Vasefanua Junior Vito|
|Date of birth||27 March 1987|
|Place of birth||Wellington, New Zealand|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 3 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||112 kg (17 st 9 lb)|
|School||Scots College, Wellington|
|Rugby union career|
Victor Vasefanua Junior Vito (born 27 March 1987) is a New Zealand rugby player and former All Black who currently plays blindside flanker for French-Based team La Rochelle. He was a star of New Zealand Sevens, and captained the 2006 New Zealand Under 19 Rugby team. Also in 2006 Vito was nominated for the IRB Under 19 Player of the Year Award. He is a key member of 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup winning teams, becoming one of only twenty dual Rugby Union World Cup winners.
Vito plays club rugby for the Marist St Pats Club in Wellington, and was a prominent player in the 2009 Wellington Lions. In 2010 he started for the Hurricanes Super 14 team and was named in the All Blacks extended squad for the first tests of the year.
Vito was a colour commentator for Sky Network Television at the 2010 Wellington Sevens. During the tournament he revealed he was a fan of NFL side Tampa Bay Buccaneers and regarded Ronde Barber as a personal idol of his.
In 2010, he was bestowed the matai title of Leaupepetele in the village of Fasito'outa. Vito was in the All Blacks camp, preparing for his test debut off the bench against Ireland, when his mother Luma'ava Leaupepe-Timoteo returned to their village in Samoa to accept the passing of the title.
It is one of Samoa's highest honours, and was bestowed by Leaupepe Tele to the eldest sons of his respective children: Vito and three of his cousins.
"My grandfather holds the highest title in Fasito'o Uta and he's getting on now and he needed to pass it on to keep the name in the family," Vito explained.
Vito, despite inexperience compared to other players was selected for the 2011 Rugby World Cup over Liam Messam, and was again selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup where he played as a substitute for the knockout stages, becoming one of only 20 players to have been part of multiple World Cup-winning sides.
His last appearance for the All Blacks was the game against Australia at Twickenham on October 31, 2015, where the All Blacks won the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time and second consecutive time. Vito announced his move to La Rochelle in France after the final, meaning his 2016 Super Rugby campaign would be his last.
- La Rochelle (2016–present)
- New Zealand All Blacks (2010 – 2015)
- Wellington Hurricanes (2009 – 2016)
- Wellington Lions (2006 – 2016)
- New Zealand National Sevens Team (2007, 2008)
- New Zealand U21 Team (2007)
- New Zealand U19 Team (2006)
- New Zealand Secondary Schools (2004)
- Gray, Wynne (10 September 2010). "All Blacks: Vito lines up for his starting challenge". New Zealand Herald. APN Holdings.
- "Victor Vito". Player Profile. New Zealand: All Blacks.
- Listen Again – Victor Vito. Highlights. New Zealand: ZM. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- NZPA (15 June 2010). "Double honour in memorable week for Vito". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- Paul, Gregor. "Victor Vito: More brain than brawn". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "Rugby World Cup 2011: All Blacks pick Vito, omit Sivivatu & Gear". BBC. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2015.