Toni Pulu

Last updated
Toni Pulu
Full nameToni Naufahu Pulu
Date of birth (1989-11-28) 28 November 1989 (age 31)
Place of birth Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight93 kg (14 st 9 lb; 205 lb)
School Dilworth School, Auckland
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Provincial / State sides
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2012– Counties Manukau 37 (40)
Super Rugby
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2016–2018
2019–
Chiefs
Brumbies
12
0
(25)
(0)
National sevens team(s)
YearsTeamComps
2009–2011 Niue sevens 3

Toni Pulu (born 28 November 1989) is an American-born rugby union player who currently plays as a wing for Counties Manukau in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Brumbies in the international Super Rugby competition. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Contents

Early career

Born in America, Pulu moved to New Zealand at the age of 3 and attended high school at Dilworth School in Auckland. After leaving school, he played local club rugby for the Bombay rugby club, in the Counties Manukau local leagues in the suburbs of Auckland. [1] [5] [6]

Senior career

Pulu began his professional career in New Zealand playing for the Counties Manukau Steelers during the 2012 ITM Cup. He immediately became a regular starter on the wing for the men from Pukekohe and his impressive performances helped them win the ITM Cup Championship and earn promotion to the Premiership for 2013. He scored 2 tries in 9 appearances in the Steelers first season in the Premiership in which they finished up in 4th place on the log before being thrashed 41-10 by Wellington in the semi-finals.

He remained try-less in 8 games through 2014 as Counties finished just outside the play-off places in 5th spot. His try scoring form returned in 2015 with 3 tries in 9 appearances while injury held him back the following year, limiting him to just 4 appearances, in which he scored two 5-pointers in Counties Manukau's run to the Mitre 10 Cup semi-finals. [2]

Super Rugby

As a result of 3 years of impressive domestic performances for Counties Manukau, Pulu earned a spot in the Chiefs wider training group for the 2015 Super Rugby season. [7] [8] Injuries prevented him from playing during his debut season in Hamilton, but he was retained in the wider training group for 2016. He made his debut for the Chiefs in the 53-10 win over the Western Force at FMG Stadium Waikato on 27 March 2016 and marked the occasion with a try. He went on to play 12 times throughout the season and scored an impressive 5 tries as the Chiefs reached the competition's semi-finals before going down to New Zealand rivals and eventual tournament winners, the Hurricanes. He was subsequently promoted to the full squad for the 2017 Super Rugby season. [2] [4]

International

Pulu has played sevens rugby for his ancestral home, Niue, with the highlight being his appearance at the 2011 Gold Coast Sevens. In 2018, due to being eligible for Australia despite him being captured by Niue, he moved to the Brumbies. [9]

Career honours

Counties Manukau

Super Rugby statistics

As of 17 December 2016 [2]
SeasonTeamGamesStartsSubMinsTriesConsPensDropsPointsYelRed
2016 Chiefs 129374550002500
Total129374550002500

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Counties Manukau (Mitre 10 Cup)

Counties Manukau are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Pukekohe, New Zealand. Established in 1976, they play in the Mitre 10 Cup, the provincial tournament in New Zealand. They play their home games at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe in the Auckland region. The team is affiliated with the Chiefs Super Rugby franchise. Their home playing colours are black, white and red.

References

  1. 1 2 "Toni Pulu Counties Manukau Steelers Player Profile". Steelers Rugby. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Toni Pulu itsrugby.co.uk Player Statistics". itsrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  3. "Toni Pulu ESPN Scrum Player Profile". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Chiefs 2017 Squad Guide" (PDF). All Blacks.com. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Toni Pulu Chiefs Player Profile". Chiefs Rugby. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  6. "Chiefs winger Toni Pulu labelled as the quickest man in New Zealand rugby". Rugby Heaven. 29 March 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  7. "Chiefs 2015 Squad Naming" (PDF). All Blacks.com. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  8. "Chiefs announce full squad". Chiefs rugby. 29 October 2014. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  9. "Toni Pulu, James McMahon Emerge As Latest U.S.-Eligibles". This is American Rugby. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2016.