Named in the All Blacks for the 2018 Steinlager Series, Jordan Taufua was ruled out with injury before he was able to make his debut.
Despite the setback, he has continued to make his mark as an outstanding loose forward with the Crusaders, and his selection for the Vista Northern Tour later that year was reward for a player who has been knocking on the door for several seasons.
Born in Auckland and educated at Alfriston and Sacred Heart Colleges, 26-year-old Taufua moved to Christchurch where he attended Lincoln University and played local club rugby. He debuted for Tasman in 2012 on loan from Canterbury, playing as well for Counties Manukau before returning to Tasman in 2017.
His excellent debut season saw him selected for the Crusaders for the 2013 season and the then 21-year-old benefitted hugely from playing alongside the hugely experienced forward pack.
Playing with a relentless physicality, by 2015 he was a first-choice pick for the side and played in all 16 of their games that season.
A dual international at U20 level, Taufua played for Samoa at the 2011 Junior World Championship before returning to New Zealand in 2012.
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Canterbury Colts, NZ Under 17s, Auckland Age Grades, Counties Manukau Age Grades
RUGBY GROUND: Eden Park
RUGBY PLAYER AND WHY: Jonah Lomu because he is a hard runner and the most feared player
EARLIEST RUGBY MEMORIES: Counties U14 first rep rugby
BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR RUGBY CAREER AND WHY: My dad because he pushed me to follow my dream and to be a rugby player
FOOD: My mums cooking
ACTOR/ACTRESS: Chris Tucker
MOVIE: Cool Runnings
BOOK: Romeo and Juliet
SINGER/BAND/MUSIC TYPE: Hip Hip, RnB, Reggae, Slow Jamz, Country
HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Hawaii and Samoa
NON-RUGBY SPORTS TEAM: NZL Pitsburg Steelers
IF I COULD MEET ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY: Jonah Lomu because he is my rugby idol
I HATE IT WHEN: People don’t walk their talk
I CANT LIVE WITHOUT: My music
IF I WASN’T A RUGBY PLAYER I WOULD BE: A primary school teacher