|Full name||Iafeta Iakopo Paleaaesina|
|Born||10 February 1983|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||104 kg (16 st 5 lb)|
Iafeta Iakopo "Feka" Paleaaesina (born 10 February 1983) is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer. He played as a prop for the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL, and for the Wigan Warriors, Salford City Reds and Hull F.C. in the Super League.
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
The New Zealand Warriors are a professional rugby league football club based in Auckland, New Zealand that compete in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are the League's only team from outside Australia. They were formed in 1995 as the Auckland Warriors, and are officially known as the Vodafone Warriors for sponsorship reasons. The Warriors are coached by Stephen Kearney and captained by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. They are based at Mt Smart Stadium in the Auckland suburb of Penrose.
The National Rugby League (NRL) is a league of professional men's rugby league teams in Australia. Run by the Australian Rugby League Commission, the NRL's main competition is known as the Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation and is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand. It is the most viewed and attended rugby league club competition in the world.
Paleaaesina was born in Auckland, New Zealand.
He was educated at Penrose High School (now One Tree Hill College) in Auckland.
One Tree Hill College is a state coeducational secondary school located in the district of Ellerslie in Auckland, New Zealand.
He started playing rugby league at the age of nine with New Zealand club Otahuhu Leopards.
The Otahuhu Leopards are a rugby league club based in Otahuhu, Auckland. Founded in 1911, the club has produced 49 New Zealand national rugby league team. The club competes in the Fox Memorial competition run by Auckland Rugby League. Otahuhu has won the Fox Memorial Shield 12 times, the Rukatai Shield 16 times, Roope Rooster 12 times and the Stormont Shield 12 times.
He made his National Rugby League (NRL) début with the New Zealand Warriors against Northern Eagles in June 2001, and went on to become one of the club's most effective performers. Before his NRL debut, he had previously played for Papatoetoe in the Auckland competition, and Hibiscus Coast Raiders in the Bartercard Cup.
The Northern Eagles were a rugby league team, that competed in the National Rugby League (NRL) between 2000 and 2002. The club was formed during the rationalisation process of the NRL by the merger of the North Sydney Bears and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 2000. The team shared home games between Brookvale Oval and Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, New South Wales.
The Hibiscus Coast Raiders are a rugby league club based on the Hibiscus Coast, New Zealand. They compete in Auckland Rugby League's Fox Memorial competition and between 2000 and 2005 were also involved in the Bartercard Cup competition.
The Bartercard Cup was the top level rugby league club competition in New Zealand from 2000 until 2007. For the entire life of the tournament it was sponsored by Bartercard. The cup was administered by the New Zealand Rugby League. The tournament was discontinued by the NZRL in 2007 and was replaced by the Bartercard Premiership in 2008.
Paleaaesina played for the Junior Kiwis in 2001, and the Kiwis in 2005.
In June 2005 he signed a three-year deal to play for Wigan Warriors, starting in 2006. Recently arrived Wigan Warriors coach Ian Millward commented: "This is a great signing for us. He will add size and pace to our pack for next year and he is only 22 years of age." Paleaaesina said: "It's a great thrill to be joining Wigan and my good friend Jerry Seu Seu. I had several offers but Wigan is still the biggest name down here and it will be a thrill to play for them."
Ian "Basil"/"Minibus" Millward is an Australian rugby league coach, occasional tv pundit and former player. Millward is now the assistant coach of St George Illawarra in the NRL
Iafeta Paleaaesina impressed on his league début for the Wigan Warriors scoring a try in the opening 2006 Super League XI match against the Catalans Dragons. Paleaaesina also scored again in Wigan Warriors' 36–20 win over the Huddersfield Giants on 24 February 2006.
Engage Super League XI was the official name for the year 2006's Super League season in the sport of rugby league in Europe. Bradford Bulls were looking to retain the title they won in Super League X.
The Catalans Dragons are a professional rugby league club based in Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France and represent Catalonia. They play in the Super League. They have also played home matches in Barcelona, attracting a Super League regular season record crowd of 31,555 against the Wigan Warriors at the Nou Camp in 2019. They are the only team in the competition from outside England. The Dragons play home games at Stade Gilbert Brutus. They are the current Challenge Cup holders, and the first non British team to win it since the competition started in 1896, after beating Warrington Wolves 20–14 at Wembley Stadium on 25 August 2018.
The Huddersfield Giants are an English professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the birthplace of rugby league, who play in the Super League competition. They play their home games at the John Smiths Stadium which is shared with Huddersfield Town F.C.. Huddersfield is also one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams. The club was founded in 1864 and is the world's oldest professional rugby league club. They have won 7 Championships and 6 Challenge Cups, but have not won a major trophy since 1962, some 53 years ago.
He was one of the best players for Wigan Warriors in the 2006 Super League season despite damaging his calf muscle in a game against the Warrington Wolves. His return from injury was against the Huddersfield Giants on 22 April 2006 which Wigan Warriors won 46–14. Iafeta Paleaaesina played a key role in Wigan Warriors: 2007 squad making a noticeable impact to their performances.
Although his surname is often written with an apostrophe in the middle (between the 2 letter "a"s), this is incorrect. When the player first arrived at Wigan Warriors, he was handed his playing shirt with his name on it, and he returned it, stating that the spelling was incorrect. A new one was produced, minus the apostrophe, which he was happy with.
On 4 October 2007 the RLIF gave permission for Paleaaesina to represent Samoa at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup rather than New Zealand who he had previously represented in international matches. He qualified to play for Samoa due to his Samoan heritage.
In 2014, Paleaaesina signed to play for Hull F.C. in the Super League.
In 2016, Paleaaesina played for Doncaster as a dual registration player before joining the club on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
In September 2017, Paleaaesina announced he would be retiring at the end of the season.
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