Hunter Paisami

  • 26Age
  • 172cmHeight
  • 91kgWeight
Wallaby Number932
Date Of BirthApril 10, 1998
Place of BirthGataivai, Savai'i, Samoa
SchoolMangere College, Auckland & Pakenham Secondary College, VIC
Debut ClubWests (Brisbane)
Debut Test Match2020 1st Test vs. New Zealand, Wellington
Debut Test Date20th August 2016

"Size doesn’t matter, it’s all about the heart”. Hunter Paisimi, pound-for-pound one of the fiercest tacklers in the modern game, takes those words - the words of his father - into every game he plays. “My mindset is I act like I am as big as other centres. Even though I am not as big or as heavy, I believe I am and therefore I play like I am.”

Of Samoan heritage, Paisami was raised within a big rugby family in Auckland. He first played tag rugby before his father introduced him to contact footy aged nine. Paisami represent Auckland at both U14s and U16s before he was the only player selected from the bottom division for the Blues U18s. At 17, Paisami and family moved across the ditch, to Melbourne, to be closer to his grandparents. Just two days after his arrival, Paisami received a call from Rebels assistant coach / U20s head coach Craig McGrath who had been given a heads up about the young centre by the Blues’ manager. Paisami soon joined Harlequins, where in 2016 he made his first-grade debut and, alongside Rob Valetini, played in the club’s Colts Grand Final side.

2017 was an even bigger year for the young centre as he enjoyed an undefeated Dewar Shield premiership victory, played for Melbourne Rising in the NPC and represented Samoa at the World Rugby U20s Championship. Paisami moved to Brisbane in 2019 where his impressive form for Wests, and later Brisbane City, earned him a deal with Queensland. Pasiami’s 2020 Reds debut, against the Brumbies in Canberra was the steppingstone to a first Wallaby cap, in the season opener against New Zealand at Wellington.

Despite his defensive heroics, former Wallaby attack coach Scott Wisemantel said there was more than one string to the Paisami bow: “Hunter is aggressive, and we know he can hit in defence and we know that he can run hard so people see that and then he gets pigeon-holed as a hard-running hitter. He’s actually got a lot of subtlety to his game - he can kick off both feet and has got a nice passing game, good tempo - so really we want to evolve him into a triple threat where he can run, pass, kick.”

Highlights 2016 Represented Australian Schools against Samoan Schools (W 50-10) and New Zealand Schools (W 32-22)

2017 Represented Samoa at the 10th World Rugby U20s Championships in Georgia.

2020 Paisami won his first Test cap at outside centre in partnership with Matt To’omua in the 16-16 first Test draw against New Zealand in Wellington. He was capped in all six Tests of the COVID-reduced international season.

2021 He started the Wallabies’ first five Tests - two at outside centre against France and then at inside centre for the third Test of that France series as well as the first two matches against New Zealand. Paisami was also capped in all four Spring Tour internationals.

2022 Paisami won nine caps for the season, six of which came as the starting inside centre. He missed two Tests (ARG-2 and NZ-1) due to concussion protocols before a medial ligament injury against Ireland prematurely ended his season.

Hunter Paisami Wallabies headshot 2022