Toutai Siaosi Kefu

  • 60Caps
  • 741Wallaby Number
  • 47Age
PositionNo. 8
Date Of Birth7 April 1974
Place Of BirthKolomotu'a, Tonga
SchoolCoorparoo State High School, Queensland
Debut ClubSouths (Brisbane)
Other ClubsKubota Spears (JAP), Sunshine Coast Stingrays
ProvinceQLD
Debut Test Match1997 Wallabies v South Africa, 2nd Test Pretoria
Final Test Match2003 Wallabies v New Zealand, 2nd Test Auckland

Biography

Of proud Tongan heritage, Toutai Kefu and his family have a strong link with Australian rugby history. Kefu’s father Fatai played for his homeland in both Tests of their 1973 tour of Australia, the second of which was one of the greatest upsets of all-time - the 16-11 victory at Ballymore. Fatai took up residency in Brisbane and two of his sons, Toutai and Steve (Wallaby #772), went on to play for Australia. Toutai was a powerful 110kg, athletic No.8 with excellent ball skills and jarring defence who enjoyed great success in his time in the Wallaby jersey. He represented Australia at both U19 and U21 levels and in 1995 made his Queensland debut against Natal at Ballymore. Kefu scored a try with his first touch of the ball and the Reds went on to win the Super 10 title.

In 1997, Kefu was selected in the Wallaby squad for the Tri Nations and made his debut against South Africa in Pretoria. His champion qualities defined his career and his success. He starred for Australia at the 1999 Rugby World Cup and in 2001 he scored the match and Bledisloe Cup-winning try to ensure captain John Eales of a win in his final Test. In 2003, and on the brink of selection to his second Rugby World Cup, Kefu suffered spinal concussion after he was hit high, late and from behind by South African prop Robbie Kempson in the 2nd Test at Suncorp. Two weeks later he cracked a shoulder blade in the 2nd Test, 17-21 loss to New Zealand in Auckland. That injury saw him ruled out of contention for the World Cup and effectively ended his Wallaby career. Kefu played 60 Tests for Australia in his seven year international career. He finished as the most capped Wallaby No.8 of all-time (58 Tests).

Highlights

1993

Represented Australian U19s.

1994

Represented Australian U21s

1995

Represented Australian U21s

1997

Kefu won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Matt Cockbain at blindside flanker but then immediately switched to inside centre due to James Holbeck’s yellow card in the 22-61 loss to South Africa in Pretoria.

1998

He played in all 13 Wallaby Tests, 11 as the starting No.8. Kefu made his run-on XV debut at No.8 and scored his first Test try in the 76-0 thumping of England in Brisbane.

1999

Kefu earned 11 Test caps and won selection to his first Rugby World Cup. He started at No.8 in four of the six matches including the semi-final against South Africa and the final against France. Kefu missed the pool match against the United States and the quarter-final with Wales due to suspension after he was cited for punching Irish flanker Trevor Brennan.

2000

A fractured leg suffered in the Super Rugby season saw Kefu miss the home series against Argentina however he returned to play in each of the final eight internationals.

2001

Kefu started at No.8 in all 11 Wallaby Tests. In the 80th minute of the 2nd Test against New Zealand in Sydney he scored the match winning try to ensure Australia held the Bledisloe Cup for a fourth successive year.

2002

Kefu wore the No.8 jersey in nine of the Wallabies’ 10 Tests. He played his 50th Test in the 17-6 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.

2003

Kefu played in all seven of the domestic Tests and the Tri Nations but was ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with a cracked shoulder blade suffered during the 2nd Test, 17-21 loss to New Zealand in Auckland.

Toutai Siaosi Kefu