Tim Lafai

Last updated

Tim Lafai
Timoteo Lafai.jpg
Personal information
Full nameTimoteo Lafai [1]
Born (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 (age 32)
Savaii, Samoa
Height6 ft 0 in (1.84 m)
Weight14 st 11 lb (94 kg)
Playing information
Position Centre
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
2011–15 Canterbury Bulldogs 743060132
2016–20 St. George Illawarra 9118190112
2020 Canterbury Bulldogs 521010
2022– Salford Red Devils 53150046
Total22365260300
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
2013– Samoa 1897050
2019 Samoa 9s 414012
Source: [2]
As of 7 November 2022

Timoteo Lafai (born 27 May 1991) is a Samoan professional rugby league footballer who plays as a centre for the Salford Red Devils in the Super League and Samoa at international level..

Contents

He previously played for the St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs over two separate spells in the NRL.

Early years

Lafai was born in Savaii, Samoa, and moved to Auckland, New Zealand as a 6-year old before immigrating to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as a 9-year old and is of Tuvaluan descent. [3]

Lafai attended Sarah Redfern High School, graduating in 2009 while playing his junior football for the Minto Cobras, and Campbelltown Warriors. In 2007, Lafai played for the Western Suburbs Magpies Harold Matthews team before being signed by the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Lafai played for the Rabbitohs SG Ball team and also played for the Campbelltown Eagles in the Bundaberg Red Cup. [4] After the 2009 season, Lafai signed a 1-year contract with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Lafai played for the Bulldogs Toyota Cup team in 2010 and 2011, scoring 17 tries and 17 goals in 32 games. [5]

Playing career

Lafai playing for the Bulldogs in 2011 Timlafai.jpg
Lafai playing for the Bulldogs in 2011

2011

In round 2 of the 2011 NRL season, Lafai made his NRL debut for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs against the South Sydney Rabbitohs filling in for the injured Josh Morris, scoring a try on debut in Canterbury's 28-19 win at ANZ Stadium. [6] Lafai finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 8 matches and scoring 2 tries for the Bulldogs. On 8 September 2011, Lafai was named on the interchange bench in the 2011 Toyota Cup Team of the Year. [7]

2012

Lafai returned to the Canterbury first grade side in round 5 filling in for the injured Steven Turner, scoring a try in the Bulldogs 46-12 victory over the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium. [8] In round 13 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Lafai suffered a dislocated right shoulder sidelining him for the rest of the year in the Bulldogs 23-18 win at ANZ Stadium. [9] Lafai played in 5 matches and scored 2 tries for the Bulldogs in the 2012 NRL season.

2013

Lafai returned to the Canterbury-Bankstown first grade side in round 5 filling in the suspended Krisnan Inu in the centres in the Bulldogs 20-6 defeat by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium. [10] Lafai played in 16 matches, scored 7 tries and kicked 1 goal for the Bulldogs in the 2013 NRL season.

Lafai playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2013 Tim Lafai.jpg
Lafai playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2013

On 12 October 2013, Lafai was named in the Samoa 24-man squad for the 2013 World Cup, [11] playing in 3 matches. Lafai making his Samoa international debut against Papua New Guinea at centre in Samoa's 38-4 win at Craven Park. [12]

2014

On 5 October 2014, in Canterbury-Bankstown's 2014 NRL Grand Final against South Sydney, Lafai played at centre in the club's 30-6 loss. [13] [14] Lafai finished the Bulldogs 2014 NRL season as the club's highest tryscorer with 14 tries as well with him kicking 4 goals in 25 matches. On 7 October 2014, Lafai was selected in the Samoan 24-man squad for the 2014 Four Nations series. [15] [16]

2015

In August, it was rumoured that Lafai was going to sign with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles for the 2016 season to make way for Parramatta Eels player Will Hopoate at the Bulldogs, but that was later dismissed. [17] [18] Lafai finished off the 2015 season having played in 20 matches, scoring 5 tries and kicking 1 goal. [19] On 11 December, he signed a two-year contract with the St. George Illawarra Dragons starting in 2016, after being released from the final two years of his Canterbury-Bankstown contract. [20]

2016

In February, Lafai played for the Dragons in the 2016 NRL Auckland Nines. [21]

In round 1 of the 2016 NRL season, Lafai made his club debut for the St George Illawarra Dragons against the Melbourne Storm, playing at centre in the Dragons 18-16 loss at AAMI Park. [22]

On 24 July, Lafai and Siliva Havili were arrested after brawling in the street outside a nightclub with another man. The alleged victim claimed Havili punched him when he had his back turned. Lafai and Havili were charged with common assault and offensive behaviour, but later escaped conviction with a guilty plea. [23]

In round 10 against the Canberra Raiders, Lafai scored his first club try for the St George Illawarra Dragons in the 16-12 golden point extra time win at Jubilee Oval. [24]

On 8 October 2016, Lafai played for Samoa in their historical test match against Fiji in Apia.

2017

After a good start to the 2017 NRL season, Lafai was rewarded with a three-year contract extension by St George, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2020 NRL season. [25]

2018

Lafai made 26 appearances for St George in the 2018 NRL season as the club finished 7th on the table and qualified for the finals. Lafai scored a try for St George as they shocked a highly fancied Brisbane side 48-18 at Suncorp Stadium. [26] The following week, Lafai played in the club's 13-12 elimination final loss against South Sydney.

2019

Lafai began the 2019 NRL season as one of the club's first choice centres. In round 5, Lafai scored a try and kicked 4 goals as St George defeated Canterbury 40-4 at Kogarah Oval. In round 11 against Cronulla, Lafai was taken from the field with an ankle injury as St George lost 22-9. [27]

Lafai made a total of 21 appearances for St. George as the club endured one of their toughest ever seasons finishing second last on the table. [28]

2020

On 20 July, Lafai was released by St. George returning to his former club Canterbury-Bankstown. [29] [30]

On 22 September, Lafai was one of eight players who were told they would be released by Canterbury at the end of the 2020 NRL season. [31]

2021

On 17 February, Lafai signed a part-time Canterbury Cup NSW contract with Parramatta for the 2021 NRL season. [32]

On 2 December 2021, it was reported that he had signed for Salford in the Super League. [33]

2022

After missing out on initial selection, he was called up as a replacement into the Samoa squad for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. [34] Lafai played for Samoa in their 2021 Rugby League World Cup final loss to Australia. [35] In November he was named in the 2021 RLWC Team of the Tournament. [36]

2023

In the 2023 Super League season, Lafai played 19 matches for Salford as the club finished 7th on the table and missed the playoffs. [37]

Controversy

On 12 April 2020 it was reported that Lafai had been handed an AVO by police following a Good Friday incident in his own home. [38] Lafai was alleged to have punched holes in a wall after an argument with his wife. [39] He subsequently checked himself into hospital with mental health issues. [40]

Lafai's club St. George issued a statement saying "St George Illawarra are aware of a police matter involving Dragons centre Tim Lafai, the club said in a statement. As this is a deeply personal and private matter, at this stage the Dragons will be making no further comment". [41]

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References

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