Soane Tonga'uiha

2011-08-11 12:57
Soane Tonga'uiha (File)

Full name: Soane Tonga'uiha
Date of birth: January 21 1982
Place of birth: Houma, Tonga
Height: 1.91 m
Weight: 130 kg
Nickname: Tiny
School: St Peters College
Position: Loosehead prop, tighthead prop
Club: Northampton Saints

Soane Tonga'uiha is known around Europe as one of the most mobile and powerful props playing in the Northern Hemisphere, but is still relatively unknown to most Southern Hemisphere rugby fans.

The Tongan loosehead was born in Tonga and played in what is now the ITM cup, but left for greener pastures after failing to make an impact.

However, since his move to England the 29 year old has quickly become a fan favourite. Tonga'uiha is famed for hurtling his massive 130-kilogram, 19.1-metre-tall frame into opposition players at top speed, and always crossing the advantage line.

The Northampton prop started playing rugby union at 15 years old when he enrolled at a high school which didn’t play rugby league. Tonga'uiha’s natural ability shone through despite his unfamiliarity with the code, and in his final year at St Peter’s College he helped the team complete the season unbeaten and win the regional championship.

The following year Tonga'uiha was selected to play for the Auckland junior team and then made his debut for the senior side in 2002. He made only 12 appearances for Auckland over two years before moving the Bedford Blues in 2004.

At the Blues his promising performances soon caught the attention of then Northampton Saints coach Rudolph Straeuli, and in 2006 he left Bedford for Northampton. Tonga'uiha flourished under the former Springbok coach’s tutelage, and he now credits Straeuli for helping him become the powerhouse he is today.


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