Benjamin Nouata Lupe Tapuai

  • 7Caps
  • 853Wallaby Number
  • 32Age
PositionCentre
Date Of Birth18 January 1989
Place Of BirthBrisbane
SchoolThe Southport School
Other ClubsGold Coast Breakers, Wanneroo (W.A.), Bath (ENG), Harlequins (ENG)
ProvinceQLD
Other ProvinceWestern Force
Debut Test Match2011 Wallabies v Wales, Cardiff
Final Test Match2012 Wallabies v Wales, 4th Test Cardiff

Biography

A dynamic centre three-quarter, Ben Tapuai was raised in AFL-centric Melbourne and supported the All Blacks, far from the traditional path for a future Wallaby. A former Australian Schoolboys and U20s star of strong Samoan heritage, Tapuai enjoyed a dream start to his professional career when, in his 2009 debut for the Queensland Reds, he scored a try with his first touch against the Crusaders in Christchurch. However, it was not until 2011 that he firmly established himself in the Reds’ squad. His finals form, straight-running, hard defence, subtle hands and deft left boot were recognised when he won the Reds 2011 Most Improved Player of the Year Award. He was then rewarded with selection in the Australian Barbarians squad and impressed in their victory over Canada. Capping off a remarkable year, Tapuai won a place in the Wallabies’ Spring Tour squad and made his Test debut against Wales. In 2012, a ten-week layoff due to a fractured collarbone saw him miss more than half the Test season however he fought his way back into the squad and was included in the run-on XV for the final six internationals. After a single season with the Western Force in 2016 Tapuai was released early to continue his career with English club, Bath Rugby.

Highlights

2006

Selected in the Australian Schools’ squad to tour Fiji and New Zealand.

2009

Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the second-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in Japan.

2011

Tapuai won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Adam Ashley-Cooper in the 24-18 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

2012

He earned his first test cap in a run-on XV when selected at outside centre in the 2nd Test, 25-19 win against Argentina at Rosario. Tapuai earned an additional five Test caps that season, including all four internationals played on the end-of-season Spring Tour.

Benjamin Nouata Lupe Tapuai