Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

  • 24 Age
  • 121kg Weight
  • 198cm Height

Biography

 A dominant and dynamic lock/back-rower, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto has enjoyed a remarkable first few years in rugby. Having never played the game until he was 17 years old, Salakaia-Loto only switched to the sport in 2014 following a junior representative career in rugby league for New South Wales.

Salakaia-Loto made an immediate impact on his new code, so much so that he was selected to represent Australia U20s at both the 2015 and 2016 World Rugby U20s Championships.

A breakout season for the Queensland Reds in 2017 - where he was a preferred lock selection ahead of Wallabies Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas - was crowned when he played his maiden Test against South Africa at Bloemfontein.

In 2018, Salakaia-Loto was capped in the opening seven Tests of the year before he made the decision to withdraw from Wallabies duty in order to care for his mother and siblings following the passing of his stepfather James.

At that time Salakaia-Loto also legally changed his name from Lukhan Lealaiauloto-Tui to honour his late stepfather.

He returned to rugby the following season and played in all 10 Wallaby Tests, including the five matches of his first Rugby World Cup. Salakaia-Loto then took his game to a new level this year as he played a leading role in guiding the young Reds eight to their first Super Rugby final appearance since 2011.

2015

Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the eighth-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in Italy.

2016

Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the ninth-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in England.

2017

Salakaia-Loto won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Adam Coleman in the 27-27, 2nd Test draw with South Africa in Bloemfontein. Salakaia-Loto went on to produce a strong running, near-40 minute cameo in the 3rd Test, 23-19 win over New Zealand in Brisbane.

A hamstring injury picked up in the uncapped match against the Barbarians in Sydney curtailed his opportunities on the Spring Tour however he ended his debut season with a fourth cap in the loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.

2018

He picked up a total of seven caps for the year with the first two coming off the bench against Ireland in Brisbane and Melbourne before he moved into the starting side at No.6 for the third Test of that series. Salakaia-Loto remained in the run-on XV for the first two internationals against New Zealand as well as the two home Tests against South Africa and then Argentina.

2019

Salakaia-Loto was capped in all 10 Wallaby Tests, six of which came as the starting blindside flanker, and won selection to his first Rugby World Cup.