Caleb Kalisi Timu
- 919Wallaby Number
Caleb Timu was a powerful, high-stepping No.8 with sublime skills who walked away from a career in rugby league to establish himself as one of Australian rugby’s premier ball-carrying loose forwards.
Born in Auckland to Samoan parents, Timu played his first rugby in the U8s for the Sunnybank Dragons and developed his game at the great Brisbane rugby nursery that is St Joseph’s Nudgee College.
Timu represented Australian U20s in 2011 but then signed with the NRL’s Brisbane Broncos and from there roared onto the national stage when he scored a barnstorming double to secure the Maroons U18s victory over New South Wales in a 2012 State of Origin curtain-raiser. His rampaging runs in that match had Timu hailed as the next Gorden Tallis however he then stunned the football world and left the game to undertake a two-year Mormon mission in the South Pacific.
Timu returned to the Broncos in late 2015 however mid- way through the following year his Mormon faith saw him switch back to rugby as club games were played on Saturdays rather than league’s Queensland Cup matches on Sundays.
Timu admitted to being a bit lost on his return but he worked hard on the finer points, particularly his tackling technique, height at the breakdown, defence and lineouts. Unfortunately, Timu suffered an immediate setback when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a non-contact situation at Reds’ training. A full knee construction and subsequent rehabilitation combined to sideline him for the better part of a year.
Timu returned to full fitness toward the back end of the 2017 Super Rugby season, asserted his dominance on the National Rugby Championship for title-winners Queensland Country, and was named NRC ‘Player of the Year’. Timu carried that form into 2018 and his strong ball-carrying performances were rewarded with a Test debut in the home series against Ireland.
In 2019, Timu signed a two-year contract with French Top 14 club Montpellier.
Represented Australian Schools against England Schools alongside Sean McMahon and Allan Ala’alatoa.
Timu won his first Test cap at No.8 in the 1st Test, 18-9 victory over Ireland at Suncorp. He retained his position at the back of the scrum for the 2nd Test, 21-26 defeat in Melbourne.