Viliami Ofahengaue

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Viliami Ofahengaue
Date of birth (1968-05-03) 3 May 1968 (age 49)
Place of birth Kolofoou, Tonga
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 118 kg (18 st 8 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) No.8, Flanker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1991–99 Waratahs 59 (?)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1990–98 Australia 41 (55)

Viliami Ofahengaue (born 3 May 1968 in Kolofoou, Tonga), widely known as Willie O, is a former rugby union player who earned 41 caps for the Australian Wallabies from 1990 to 1998, and played in the World Cups of 1991 and 1995 as well as the 1993 World Cup Sevens.

Ofahengaue attended Tupou College Toloa in Tonga. He was included in Toloas 1st XV team that was undefeated throughout all the secondary schools in Tonga, it was after his years at Tupou College Toloa where he had the opportunities to travel around Australia and New Zealand through rugby. Ofahengaue played for New Zealand Schoolboys in 1988 and participated in a tour to Australia. However, on the return trip, he was refused re-entry to New Zealand with his Tongan passport so he moved to Australia.[citation needed]

It was while playing for the Manly Rugby Club that he was selected for the NSW and Australian teams. He scored 11 Test tries for Australia from the back of the scrum before handing over the No.8 jersey to fellow Tongan Toutai Kefu at the end of 1998. He has the somewhat rare distinction of having beaten the All Blacks more times than losing to them.

After finishing his playing career in Australia, Ofahengaue worked as player/coach in Japan for the next five years, visiting Fiji in 2001 to lend assistance to Tonga’s Pacific Rim campaign. He became head coach of the 'Ikale Tahi in January 2004. He has also coached Japanese and Manly club sides.[1]

Current Wallabies No.8 Wycliff Palu has mentioned Ofahengaue as someone he looked up to during his early career.[2]

He now resides in Melton South, Victoria where is he is minister to the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.[citation needed]

Ofahengaue is the uncle of current Brisbane Broncos player Joe Ofahengaue.[3]


External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
New Zealand Jim Love
Tonga National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
Australia Adam Leach