Patrick Tuipulotu has developed into a top-quality lock, and having been signed off as fit to play in 2016 Investec Super Rugby, rejoined the All Blacks for the first time since playing against the Welsh in Cardiff in 2014.
A quietly-spoken man, Tuipulotu made his Test debut in the Steinlager Series in June 2014 after an outstanding debut Investec Super Rugby season. However, double hip surgery in 2015 meant a lot of time on the sidelines for the big man, whose 2016 Super Rugby season was also disrupted by a hand injury.
Tuipulotu is the most recent All Black to come from the notable Ponsonby club in Auckland - he has been playing for 'The Ponies' (as club-members are known) since he was at primary school. He was also the first of the 2013 New Zealand Under 20 side to be named as a full member of the All Blacks squad.
In April 2016, he confirmed that he was staying with New Zealand Rugby through to 2019.
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News 10.Feb.2017 See all news
Debut for NZ: 2011 NZ Schools
Career notes (National Rep Teams or Awards in Sport): New Zealand Schools 2011, New Zealand Under 20 2013
Life/favourites: Video games, chilling with family and friends
Favourite Rugby ground: The cage - St Peters College
Favourite rugby player and why: Jerome Kaino - a total beast.
Earliest rugby memories: Under 11s for Ponsonby got thrashed by suburbs in horrendous rain.
Best rugby memory: Beating Auckland Boys Grammar on the cage in 2009
Biggest influence on your rugby career and why: Dad- helped me out since i started playing, been honest and very influential in my progress as a semi professional rugby player so far.
Food: Meatloaf wrapped with bacon, setamed veges and mashed potato
Actor/Actress: Adrienne Palicki
Movie: Space Jam
On your itunes /iphone playlist: return of the mack - Mark Morrison
Holiday destination: America
Non-rugby sports team: Miami heat
Sporting hero: Lebron James
If you could meet one person, who would it be and why: channing tatum, to ask him how to get the ladies.
I hate it when…. It’s not sunny
I can’t live without….. socks
If I wasn’t a rugby player I would be…. an architect