Tevita Li

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Tevita Li
Tevita Li 210221b.jpg
Date of birth (1995-03-23) 23 March 1995 (age 27)
Place of birth Auckland, New Zealand
Height1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb; 209 lb)
School Massey High School
Notable relative(s)Lua Li (Brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing, Fullback
Current team Suntory Sungoliath
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2013– North Harbour 59 (215)
2014–2016 Blues 30 (35)
2017–2019 Highlanders 36 (60)
2020– Suntory Sungoliath 22 (125)
Correct as of 31 August 2022
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2014 Barbarian F.C. 1 (5)
2014–2015 New Zealand U20 10 (65)
Correct as of 1 January 2018

Tevita Li (born 23 March 1995) is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a wing for North Harbour in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Contents

Early career

Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Li was educated at Massey High School in his home town where he played first XV rugby.

Senior career

Li made his senior debut for North Harbour during the 2013 ITM Cup while aged just 18 years old and still a high school student. He managed 1 try in 4 games in his first season of provincial rugby and was subsequently promoted to the full squad for 2014. His second season saw him feature in all 10 of Harbour's championship matches and score 3 tries as the men from Auckland's North Shore finished in 5th place on the log, just missing out on the promotion playoffs.

He started every game in 2015 and helped himself to 4 tries as Harbour once again came agonisingly close to securing a playoff berth, only to fall just short and end up in 5th spot. However, there was to be no such heartache in 2016 Mitre 10 Cup as Harbour finished in 3rd place in the regular season standings before seeing off the more fancied Wellington and Otago in the playoffs to earn promotion to the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup Premiership. Li was again an ever-present, starting all 12 of Harbour's games during the year as well as bagging a career high 7 season tries including the opening try in the epic 40-37 semi-final victory away to Wellington. [2]

Super Rugby

Li's swift rise from high school prodigy to the upper echelons of the rugby world continued apace in 2014 when Auckland-based Super Rugby franchise, the Blues included him in their wider training group for the 2014 Super Rugby season. [5] After Some impressive outings in pre-season, he was named on the bench for the Blues opening game away to the Highlanders and came on for his Super Rugby debut as a second-half substitute in a 21-29 loss for his side. [6] He went on to score 3 tries in 8 matches in his first season of Super Rugby, at the age of 19. 2015 saw a little stagnation in his progress, featuring 7 times and failing to cross the try line once as the Blues endured a horror season, winning just 3 of 16 games to finish in 14th spot on the overall log.

Prior to the start of the 2016 Super Rugby season Tana Umaga replaced Sir John Kirwan as Blues head coach and this brought about an upturn in fortunes both for the franchise and for Li personally. The Blues finished in a more respectable 11th place, still well away from the playoff spots, while Li started all 15 of their regular season games and scored 4 tries in what would prove to be his final season in Auckland. [2]

In June 2016, it was announced that Li had signed a 1-year deal with 2015 Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders, that would see him move to Dunedin for 2017. [7]

International

Li was a New Zealand Schools representative in 2012 and was also a member of the New Zealand Under-20 sides which competed in the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship and 2015 World Rugby Under 20 Championship. He scored 7 tries in 5 games in 2014 to help New Zealand to 3rd place in their home tournament and followed that up with 6 tries in 5 games in Italy the following year including a hat-trick against France which made him the highest try-scorer in tournament history. Li's tries also helped New Zealand to lift the World Under-20 Championship title for the first time since 2011 as they progressed through the tournament unbeaten and defeated England 21-16 in the final in Cremona. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Career honours

New Zealand Under-20

North Harbour

Super Rugby statistics

As of 4 January 2017 [2]
SeasonTeamGamesStartsSubMinsTriesConsPensDropsPointsYelRed
2014 Blues 86247430001500
2015 Blues 7524430000000
2016 Blues 15150113740002010
Total30264205470003510

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References

  1. "Tevita Li North Harbour Player Profile". North Harbour Rugby. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Tevita Li Player Statistics". itsrugby. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  3. "Tevita Li Highlanders Player Profile". Highlanders Rugby. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. "Highlanders 2017 Squad Guide" (PDF). All Blacks.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  5. "NZ franchises confirm 2014 Super Rugby squads". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  6. "SA Rugby Match Centre – Highlanders 29-21 Blues". South African Rugby Union. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  7. "Blues lose promising winger Tevita Li to Highlanders for 2017 Super Rugby season". Rugby Heaven. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  8. "NZSchools team named for internationals". All Blacks. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  9. "Baby Blacks into U-20 World Championship final with help from Tevita Li hat-trick". TVNZ. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  10. "NZU20 squad named for IRB JWC2014". All Blacks. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  11. "NZ Under 20 squad named for World Champs in Italy". All Blacks. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  12. "Tevita Li New Zealand Under-20 Player Profile". All Blacks. Retrieved 4 January 2017.