Willie Talau

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Willie Talau
Willie Talau 2008.jpg
Talau with Samoa at the 2008 World Cup
Personal information
Full name Viliamu Talau
Born (1976-01-25) January 25, 1976 (age 40)
Apia, Samoa
Height 5 ft 11.5 in (181.6 cm)
Weight 14 st 10 lb (93 kg)
Playing information
Position centre
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1994–96 Taranaki Rockets
1998–03 Canterbury Bulldogs 101 38 0 0 152
2003–08 St Helens 149 65 0 0 260
2009–10 Salford City 25 4 0 0 16
Total 275 107 0 0 428
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–06 New Zealand 13 9 0 0 36
2007–08 Samoa 3 0 0 0 0
As of 1 November 2008
Source: [1]

Viliamu (Willie) Talau (born 25 January 1976, in Samoa) is a retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. A Samoan and New Zealand international representative centre, he played in the National Rugby League for the Bulldogs and in the Super League for St Helens, with whom he won the 2006 Super League Grand Final and the Challenge Cup on four occasions, and for the Salford City Reds.

Playing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Talau attended Spotswood College. Talau played for the Taranaki Rockets in the Lion Red Cup. At 21, his father gave him a one-way ticket to Australia to try his luck playing league. While playing in the metropolitan Cup he was spotted by the Canterbury Bulldogs, who signed him to play in the National Rugby League. In the 1994 Lion Red Cup Talau played in nine matches, scoring one try. He then played in all 22 matches for the Rockets in the 1995 season.

He played in 101 National Rugby League games for the Bulldogs, scoring 38 tries, including one in the 1998 NRL Grand Final loss to the Broncos. Talau was selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the end of season 1999 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he played at centre in the Kiwis' 22-20 loss.

St Helens[edit]

He signed for St. Helens in late 2003. He made his Super League debut on 24 August 2003 against Hull.

Talau scored two tries in the 2004 Challenge Cup Final, and participated in St Helens' 2006 treble, scoring in both the 2006 Challenge Cup Final and the 2006 Super League Grand Final. Talau scored 11 tries in 29 games during the 2006 season. As 2006 Super League champions, St Helens faced 2006 NRL Premiers the Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Talau played at centre in the Saints' 18-14 victory.

He played in 2008's Super League XIII Grand Final defeat by the Leeds Rhinos.[2]

Salford[edit]

Talau joined European Super League side Salford City Reds for the start 2009 season.[3][4] He retired from the sport at the end of the 2010 season.

Representative career[edit]

A Junior Kiwis representative, Talau played in 13 games for the New Zealand Kiwis from 1999 to 2006, including the 2000 World Cup.

In 2007 Talau switched allegiances to Samoa. The following year he represented Samoa in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, playing two matches.[5][6]

Legacy[edit]

In 2008 he was named in the Taranaki Rugby League Team of the Century.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Willie Talau rugbyleagueproject.org
  2. ^ "2008 Grand Final". BBC. 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  3. ^ "Salford snap up Talau from Saints". BBC. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  4. ^ "Reds in Talau swoop". Manchester Evening News. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  5. ^ "Samoa, Tonga and Fiji name squads". BBC. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  6. ^ "Samoa name World Cup Squad". League Unlimited. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  7. ^ "Dream team of century is named". Taranaki Daily News. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2011.