Martin Taupau

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Martin Taupau (born 3 February 1990) is a New Zealand rugby league player who currently plays for the Wests Tigers in the National Rugby League. Taupau plays at prop or lock. Taupau previously played for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2010-2013. Taupau has represented Samoa and New Zealand at international level.


Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Taupau is of Samoan descent. Taupau moved to Australia as a 10-year-old and played junior rugby league for the Padstow Panthers and Greenacre Tigers.[1] Taupau attended Endeavour Sports High School[2] and represented the Australia Schoolboys team in 2008.[1]

Playing career


In Round 5 of the 2010 NRL season, Taupau made his first grade debut against the New Zealand Warriors off the interchange bench in the Bulldogs 30-24 loss at ANZ Stadium,[3] in what was his only appearance of the season. Taupau was selected in the Samoan train on squad[4] and the Junior Kiwis that year. Taupau captained the Junior Kiwis.[5][6]


Taupau finished the 2011 NRL season with him playing in 3 matches for the Bulldogs. Taupau spent most of the 2011 season playing in the NSW Cup, and was named in the New South Wales Residents.[7]


In Round 23 against the Brisbane Broncos, Taupau scored his first NRL career try in the 22-14 win at ANZ Stadium.[8] Taupau finished the season with him playing in 6 matches, all victories.


In 2013, Taupau played as a starting prop for the first 7 rounds of the season in a period when James Graham was suspended.[9] On 20 April 2013, Taupau made his international début for Samoa against Tonga in the Pacific Rugby League International at Penrith Stadium, playing off the interchange bench in Samoa's 36-4 loss.[10] On 16 June 2013, it was announced that the club had granted Taupau a release to join the Wests Tigers from the 2014 season on a 3-year contract until the end of 2016.[11] Taupau finished the Bulldogs' 2013 NRL season with him playing in 11 matches.


In February 2014, Taupau was selected in the Wests Tigers inaugural 2014 Auckland Nines squad.[12] In Round 1 against the St George Illawarra Dragons, Taupau made his debut for the Wests Tigers in the Tigers 44-24 loss at ANZ Stadium, scoring a try in the match.[13] Taupau’s good form for the Tigers lead to him being selected to debut for the New Zealand Kiwis in the May 2014 Anzac Test at SFS. Taupau debuted off the interchange bench in the Kiwis 30-18 loss.[14] Taupau was one of just two players to play in every Wests Tigers game for the season, and was the club's second best for metres gained with the ball.[15]

At the end of the year, Taupau played in all four of the Kiwis games as they won the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations. In the final, Taupau left the ground with a suspected neck injury, but had already made three tackle breaks, three offloads, and was described as "the toast of the team." The New Zealand Herald said, "Time and again Taupau threw himself into the Australian line to see would-be defenders reeling."[16]


Under new coach Jason Taylor, Taupau began the 2015 season playing as the team's starting lock.

Taupau was chosen on the bench for the Kiwis in the Anzac Test. He gained the most metres amongst the New Zealand pack and had the most offloads of any forward for either side.[17] After receiving a crusher tackle during the game, Taupau made a throat-slitting gesture towards Australian opponent Sam Thaiday. Australian player Corey Parker said, "that's not a good look for the game, gee whiz. If you were a young kid looking in the stands watching that, I don't know what you're going to think." Parker did admit, "I think it would be fair to say 12 months ago you might not have known too much about Marty Taupau, but certainly you do now."[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Martin Taupau". Bulldogs. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  2. "Endeavour Sports High School". Our Footy Team. 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  3. "Warriors pip Bulldogs at death". ABC News. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. "SAMOA ONLINE". Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  5. "Martin Taupau signs with Wests Tigers". League Unlimited. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  7. Taupau named in Bulldogs team, 5 July 2011
  8. Glenn Jackson (12 August 2012). "Reynolds' triple play claws game back from Broncos". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  9. "Canterbury-Bankstown forward James Graham hit with 12-match ban for biting Billy Slater in grand final". Fox Sports. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  10. Adrian Warren (20 April 2013). "Tonga smash Samoa 36-4". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  11. "Tigers sign Martin Taupau for three years". NRL - Zero Tackle. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  12. "SQUADS FOR AUCKLAND NINES". Rugby League Week. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  13. "St George Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  14. Chris Barrett (2 May 2014). "Australia get the victory but New Zealand take the plaudits after giving world champions a scare". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  15. "Wests Tigers Player List". Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  16. Skipworth, David (16 November 2014). "League: Taupau toast of the team". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  17. Chris Kennedy (5 May 2015). "Tigers love Taupau's aggression". Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  18. Decent, Tom (4 May 2015). "Corey Parker says Martin Taupau's throat-slitting gesture was out of line". Retrieved 6 May 2015.

External links