Internationals NZ dangles Test carrot before Tupou


Got this from Dont think Ive ever seen so many stories about NZers on there as there has been this year. Never used to worth looking at apart from the stats page but now its shit and the stories are good.

NZ dangles Test carrot before Tupou
Friday, April 21, 2006 - 3:45 PM

New Zealand coach Brian McClennan has dangled a Test carrot in front of powerful Brisbane Broncos winger Tame Tupou.

Tupou ballooned in the off-season after undergoing a hernia operation, but has since shed 10kg and is now enjoying his best-ever season.

The 23-year-old spent the off-season stacking on the kilos while indulging in his favourite pastime - eating - and, after an embarrassing skin fold test, he trimmed down from 115kg to 105kg.

He feels his weight loss is helping him play better for 80 minutes.

"I was shocking," he said of his weight explosion following his surgery in November.

"I sat around unable to do anything except eat for a few weeks."

With the Kiwis struggling for wingers, Tupou has staked a late bid to make his Test debut in next month's eagerly-awaited Tri Nations replay with the Kangaroos in Brisbane.

Manu Vatuvei (hamstring), a two-try hero in the Kiwis' 24-0 Tri Nations upset last November and also voted 2005 international newcomer of the year, and robust Bulldog winger Matt Utai (fractured rib) are both racing the injury clock.

They hope to launch last-ditch Test bids when they return from injury next weekend.

The Storm's Jake Webster, who played in the Tri Nations final in Leeds, remains in the running with McClennan uncertain of who else will be unavailable for battle.

The towering 195cm Tupou has made the most of his opportunity since being called up in the second round to replace injured winger Steve Michaels.

He's scored four tries in five games, including doubles against Parramatta and Souths to be the club's leading tryscorer.

He also notched a trial hat-trick against Canberra in the pre-season.

"Tame has put his hand up, that's for sure," said McClennan in a clear message across the Tasman to the big Aucklander.

"He's coming along real good."

The shrewd McClennan's timely comments give Tupou the incentive to play even better against Penrith at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Tupou was a little surprised to learn he was Brisbane's leading try scorer.

"Am I?" he said.

He was even more shocked to discover McClennan was keeping such close tabs on his progress with the Test looming.

"That would be unbelievable," said Tupou, who tossed in rugby union to play league because it wasn't tough enough.

"I grew up back in New Zealand watching the Kiwis play when I was playing rugby.

"It would be incredible if it happened."

Tupou is one of several players coming off contract at the end of the season.

"I'd love to stay here, especially with Wayne Bennett and players like Darren Lockyer and Shane Webcke here," he said.

"The coach is telling me after each game I'm doing well so hopefully I can keep it up and keep improving."

Dual international forward Brad Thorn (knee) faces a fitness test at training on Saturday morning to keep his place on the interchange bench.

Tame is playing well for the Broncos. Even takes spear taclkes in his stride.


he bagged another double today ...hes going great guns .. reminds me a bit of the volcano .......good chance of making his test debut , now that jake webster may get a holiday ...


edguy said:
he bagged another double today ...hes going great guns .. reminds me a bit of the volcano .......good chance of making his test debut , now that jake webster may get a holiday ...

Depending on Manus injury i had Tupou on one side with and Jake or Manu on the other...

Surely he must start for the Kiwis.


It is also good to hear that Tupou is excited at the possibility of playing for the Kiwis ... I had already "selected" him on one Wing.

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