A LARGE, PHYSICAL player, Patrick Tuipulotu has developed into a top-quality lock since making his provincial debut for Auckland in 2012.
The St Peter’s College old boy continued developing his game at the highest level and played for the New Zealand Under 20 team at the 2013 Junior World Championship.
A quietly-spoken man, Tuipulotu was selected for the Blues for the 2014 Super Season and an impressive campaign saw him make the All Blacks squad for that season’s Steinlager Series against England.
He went onto play seven Tests that year, including two Tests in the Rugby Championship and three Tests on the Northern Tour.
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. He returned to the All Blacks side playing five Tests in 2016 and made a welcome return in 2017 for the back half of the Investec Rugby Championship and the Vista Northern Tour.
Tuipulotu has emerged as a quality leader in recent seasons and was a driving force behind the Blues revival in Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020 and Trans-Tasman title victory in 2021.
Tuipulotu plays for the notable Ponsonby club in Auckland, the same club as All Blacks teammate Rieko Ioane.
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