Rugby Australia are delighted to announce Taniela Tupou has re-signed with Australian Rugby until 2025, which will include a move to the Melbourne Rebels in 2024.
The devastating tighthead prop has spent the last nine years at Ballymore with the Queensland Reds, bringing up 87 caps for the side and starting in their 2021 Super Rugby AU title win.
A schoolboy sensation, the 26-year-old made his Wallabies debut in 2017 in Edinburgh against Scotland and has gone on to represent Australia on 47 occasions.
Wallaby number 917, Tupou is currently recovering from an Achilles injury he picked up late last season and will be pushing for selection in his second Rugby World Cup squad in France this year.
Wallabies and 2024 Melbourne Rebels signing Taniela Tupou said: “I’d like to thank Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels for the opportunity to continue my career here in Australia for the next two years.”
“I’d also like to thank the Queensland Reds and the fans for the last nine seasons. I’ve made some great memories, met some lifelong friends and I’ll be doing everything I can to help them be successful this year.
“I’m excited by the future of Australian Rugby with a Lions tour on the horizon but my priority is to work hard on my rehab and get back on the field as soon as possible.”
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “Taniela has the potential to be the best tighthead prop in the world and it’s great he’s staying in Australian Rugby.”
“Alongside Allan Alaalatoa, we have the opportunity for a world-class 80 minutes at tighthead prop and that’s outstanding for the Wallabies.”
Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said: “To have someone of Taniela’s calibre join the Melbourne Rebels is exciting news for our loyal members and fans, and the wider Victorian community.”
“In a city built on sporting excellence, Taniela’s signing enhances our efforts to grow our game across Victoria, particularly as we head into the Golden Decade with a Lions Tour and a home Rugby World Cup on the horizon.
“We’ve worked really hard with our preparation and can’t wait for the year ahead. Adding such a world class player to our Club next season will only strengthen our program and help us build on 2023.”
Date of birth: 10 May 1996
Place of birth: Vaini, Tonga
Test debut: 2017 v Scotland, Edinburgh
Test caps: 47
Super Rugby debut: 2016 v Brumbies, Canberra
Super Rugby caps: 87
2023 eToro Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures
Wallabies v South Africa, 5:05pm SAST/1:05am AEST, Saturday 8 July at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Wallabies v Argentina, 7:45pm AEST, Saturday 15 July at CommBank Stadium, Sydney
Wallabies v New Zealand, 7:45pm AEST, Saturday 29 July at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Wallabies v New Zealand, 2:35pm NZST/12:35pm AEST Saturday 5 August at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin