- 34 Age
- 118kg Weight
- 188cm Height
Despite being born in Sydney Sekope Kepu’s path to becoming a Wallaby was shaped in New Zealand. Educated at Auckland’s famous Wesley College, the alma mater of All Black great Jonah Lomu, Kepu represented nationally at U17 (as a No.8), U19 and U21 levels. He signed with Counties-Manukau in the National Provincial Championship where his performances caught the eye of Waratah coach and World Cup winning prop Ewen McKenzie. In 2008 Kepu debuted for New South Wales against The Highlanders at Carisbrook and by the end of the season was a Wallaby when selected for his maiden Test against Italy.
However, it was not until 2011 that Kepu firmly established himself within the Wallaby match day squad. From the opening Test of that 2011 season, against Samoa in Sydney, Kepu went on to play in 100 of the Wallabies’ next 111 internationals through to the end of 2018. In 2017, Kepu became the most capped Wallaby prop of all-time when he surpassed the record held by Queensland’s James Slipper and when he ran onto the field to face the All Blacks in Yokohama last year, Kepu became just the ninth Wallaby to play 100 Test matches.
Kepu was selected on the end-of-season Spring Tour and won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Ben Alexander in the 30-20 victory over Italy in Padova. Kepu won a second cap in the Test against France but his tour ended on a sour note when he tore a pectoral muscle in a torrid 18-11 victory over the star-studded Barbarians at Wembley.
Kepu had to wait until the Spring Tour for his third Test cap, once again off the bench, in the 8-9 loss to Scotland.
A torn calf muscle for the Waratahs against the Brumbies saw Kepu miss the domestic Test season. He returned to club rugby with Randwick however he was overlooked for the Spring Tour despite the selectors choosing five props in the squad.
An injury to Waratah teammate Benn Robinson opened the door for Kepu to return to the national side and he took the opportunity with both hands. He won his first run-on Test cap in the 23-32 loss to Samoa in Sydney and was selected for the next 10 tests including the Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
After he played in four of the opening five Tests Kepu’s season was again interrupted by injury when he suffered a grade two medial ligament tear at training ahead of the 2nd Test against New Zealand in Auckland. Kepu recovered to play in each of the year’s final five Tests.
Kepu played tight head prop in all 15 Tests however he only started four of those internationals.
Kepu established himself as first pick in the No. 3 jersey as he was capped in the run-on XV for all 15 Tests. He won his 50th Test cap in the 29-26 victory over France in Paris.
He played in 11 of the season’s 12 Tests and was in the run-on side for the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand.
Kepu won 14 caps from a possible 15 Tests after he was rested for the international against France in Paris.
For a second season running Kepu was awarded 14 caps although six were won from the bench. In the 3rd Test, 23-18 victory over New Zealand Kepu played his 87th Test to break James Slipper’s Australian record for a prop. In the final Test of the year Kepu became just the fourth Wallaby to be sent from the field after he was dismissed in the 39th minute against Scotland in Edinburgh.
Kepu was capped in 12 of the Wallabies 13 Tests. He started five matches at tight head prop, won two caps as a replacement tight head and picked up a further five caps as a replacement at loose head.