Over the last number of years, there has been considerable hype surrounding the ‘Tongan Thor’ or Taniela Tupou.
The explosive and powerful prop came to internet fame when he scored a hat-trick of tries as an 18-year-old for Auckland Schools outfit, Sacred Heart College.
After rejecting an invitation to join the New Zealand schoolboys team, the Tongan-born 21-year-old was the subject of considerable interest from top clubs all around the world. Tupou had always outlined his desire to play for the Wallabies as it was the team he supported when he was growing up. He then joined the Queensland Reds and began the path to fulfilling that dream.
Now, it seems like that dream could come true this weekend as Tupou is named on the bench for the Wallabies last November Test match against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Tupou was speaking to the media where he revealed he was in tears when he realised he was in the matchday 23, as reported by rugby.com.au.
“I’m lost for words, I actually don’t know what to say. I just found out today [in the team meeting] that I’m playing. I was in tears actually, the first thing that came to my mind was my family. Growing up in Tonga as a young kid, all I wanted to do was to play for Australia one day and now I get to do it this weekend, I can’t wait.
“I just wish my family was here but I know my team have my back.”
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper revealed that although Tupou may have been shocked at his inclusion, the rest of the squad were not.
“He was a bit shocked when he got selected today but the boys weren’t because of the stuff he’s been doing at training, the hard work he has been putting in and the impression he’s given us all of what he can do. He’s been really impressive, so I’m stoked for him to come this far and develop into a potential Wallaby at the weekend.”