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Akuila Uate (born 6 October 1987) is a professional rugby league footballer who plays on the wing for the Huddersfield Giants in the Super League. He is both a Fiji and Australian international.

Akuila Uate
Aku Uate.jpg
Personal information
Born (1987-10-06) 6 October 1987 (age 32)
Votua, Nadroga-Navosa, Fiji
Height6 ft 0 in (182 cm)
Weight15 st 6 lb (98 kg)
Playing information
PositionWing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2008–16 Newcastle Knights 161 110 0 0 440
2017–18 Manly Sea Eagles 39 19 0 0 76
2019– Huddersfield Giants 12 5 0 0 20
Total 212 134 0 0 536
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–18 Fiji 18 14 0 0 56
2010–12 Prime Minister's XIII 2 2 0 0 8
2011–13 NRL All Stars 2 1 0 0 4
2011–15 Country NSW 3 3 0 0 12
2011–12 New South Wales 5 2 0 0 8
2011–12 Australia 5 3 0 0 12
2017 World All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
As of 4 May 2019
Source: [1]

He previously played for the Newcastle Knights, where he is the highest try-scorer in their history,[4] as well as the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL.

A three time Dally M Winger of the Year, he has represented New South Wales in State of Origin. He has represented the Prime Minister's XIII, NRL All Stars, Country NSW and the World All Stars team.

BackgroundEdit

Uate was born in Votua, in the Province of Nadroga-Navosa, Fiji and moved to Woy Woy, New South Wales, Australia as a 15-year old.

He played his junior football for the Woy Woy Roosters in New South Wales before being signed by the Newcastle Knights. As a junior, Uate came 3rd in the underage Australian sprinting finals. Uate was tipped as a future superstar by Knights legend, Andrew Johns. Johns said about Uate, "In all my years in rugby league I've never seen a better athlete than this bloke." He was also described by the talent scout who spotted him as "the next Lote Tuqiri".[5] Uate played for the Knights' Premier League and Jersey Flegg teams in 2006. Uate scored a try in the 2006 Jersey Flegg Grand Final 22-20 loss to the Penrith Panthers Jersey Flegg side.[6] While attending Brisbane Waters Senior College, Uate played for the Australian schoolboys in 2005.[7][8] On 7 October 2006, Uate represented Fiji in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying match against the Cook Islands, playing at centre and scoring a try in the 40-4 win at Penrith Stadium.[9]

Playing careerEdit

 
Uate playing for Fiji in 2008

2008Edit

In Round 19 of the 2008 NRL season, Uate made his NRL debut for the Newcastle Knights against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at centre and scored a try in the Knights 16-13 loss at Remondis Stadium.[10] Uate finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 4 matches and scoring 3 tries for the Knights in the 2008 season. Uate played in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup for Fiji.[11][12] Uate was considered one of the tournament's 'Players to Watch' by NRL Live pre-tournament and went on to score 5 tries in 4 matches, including a hat trick against France in Fiji's 42-6 win at WIN Stadium.[13] He also led the competition for line-breaks as Fiji made it to the semi-finals of the tournament.[14]

2009Edit

In June 2009, Uate re-signed with the Knights on a 4-year contract.[15] Uate finished the 2009 NRL season with him playing in 17 matches and scoring 8 tries for the Knights.

2010Edit

In 2010, Uate started the season on the right wing due to regular right winger James McManus being injured. His form throughout the season kept McManus out of the right wing position. In Round 10 against the Sydney Roosters, Uate scored one of the best tries of the 2010 season, when he caught the ball from the Knights kick-off after conceding a try to the Roosters beforehand, Uate beaten numerous defenders to score the try in the Knights 34-18 win at Central Coast Stadium.[16] On 7 September 2010, at the 2010 Dally M awards, Uate won the Winger of the Year award as well as taking out the top try-scoring player award with 21 tries to his name in 24 matches.[17] On 26 September 2010, Uate was selected in the Australian Prime Minister's XIII team to take on Papua New Guinea, Uate scored a try in the 30-18 win in Port Moresby.[18]

2011Edit

On 13 February 2011, Uate was chosen to play for the NRL All Stars on the wing and scored a try in the 28-12 win over the Indigenous All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium.[19] In May 2011, Uate was selected for the NSW Country Origin team in the annual City vs Country Origin match on the wing and scored the winning try for Country in the 18-12 win at Lavington Sports Ground in Albury, New South Wales.[20] In May 2011, Uate was selected for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2011 State of Origin series, making his debut on the wing in the Blues 16-12 loss at Suncorp Stadium.[21] Uate played all 3 games of the series and scored a try in the 3rd game in the Blues 34-24 loss at Suncorp Stadium.[22] In Round 26 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Uate scored four tries in the Knights 40-24 win at Hunter Stadium.[23] On 6 September 2011, at the 2011 Dally M awards, Uate won the Winger of the Year for the 2nd time in a row.[24] Uate finished the season as the highest try-scoring winger with 20 tries in 23 matches and lead the NRL in tackle-breaks. On 16 October 2011, Uate made his debut for Australia on the wing in a stand-alone test match against New Zealand held at Uate's home stadium, Hunter Stadium, scoring the first 2 tries of the match in the Kangaroos 42-6 win.[25] In October and November 2011, Uate played for Australia in the 2011 Four Nations tournament, playing in 4 matches and scoring a try. Uate finished off the 2011 season by winning the RLPA Players' Player of the Year Award. On 3 November 2011, Uate won the RLIF's International Winger of the Year Award beating the likes of Jason Nightingale and Jharal Yow Yeh.[26]

2012Edit

On 20 April 2012, Uate was played for Australia in the 2012 ANZAC Test against New Zealand on the wing in the Kangaroos 20-12 win at Eden Park.[27] In May 2012, Uate was selected for New South Wales in Game 1 of the 2012 State of Origin series. Uate scored the opening try of the series in the Blues 18-10 loss at Etihad Stadium.[28] Uate was later dropped for Game 3.[29] On 4 September 2012, at the 2012 Dally M Awards, Uate was named the Winger of the Year for the 3rd consecutive season.[30] Uate played 22 matches was the Newcastle Knights highest tryscorer of the 2012 NRL season with 18 tries. On 23 September 2012, Uate was selected for the Prime Minister's XIII team again with him scoring the last try of the game in the 24-18 win against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.[31]

2013Edit

On 13 February 2013, Uate was chosen to play for the NRL All Stars team on the wing in the 32–6 loss over the Indigenous All Stars at Suncorp Stadium.[32] On 6 March 2013, after speculation that Uate was going to sign with a Japanese rugby union club, he re-signed with the Knights on a 4-year contract to the end of the 2017 season.[33] On 3 May 2011, Uate was selected for the NSW Country Origin in the annual City vs Country Origin match on the wing and scored a try in the 18-12 win in Coffs Harbour.[34] In Round 11 against the New Zealand Warriors, Uate played his 100th NRL career match for the Newcastle Knights in the 28-12 loss at Mt Smart Stadium.[35] Uate finished the 2013 NRL season with playing in 24 matches and scoring 15 tries for the Newcastle Knights. In October 2013, Uate switched back his international eligibility to his native Fiji and he was named in their squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.[36] Uate played in 4 matches and scored 3 tries, all scored against Ireland in Fiji's 32-14 win at Spotland Stadium.[37]

2014Edit

In February 2014, Uate was selected in the Newcastle Knights inaugural 2014 Auckland Nines squad.[38] In Round 13 against the Wests Tigers, Uate broke Timana Tahu’s record for most tries scored for the Newcastle Knights, Uate became the Knights highest tryscorer ever with 93 tries, scoring a hat trick in the 23-20 loss at Hunter Stadium.[39] In Round 22 against the Melbourne Storm, Uate scored a try in the corner win the match for the Knights after overcoming a 30-20 deficit with 2 minutes to go, with later Kurt Gidley kicking the winning goal resulting with the Knights 32-30 winners at Hunter Stadium.[40] Uate finished off the 2014 NRL season with him being the Knights highest tryscorer with 12 tries in 15 matches.

2015Edit

In Round 6 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Uate scored his 100th NRL career try in the Knights' 22-6 loss at Remondis Stadium.[41] On 3 May, he played for New South Wales Country against New South Wales City in the 2015 City vs Country Origin match, playing on the wing and scoring a try in Country's 34-22 win at Wagga Wagga.[42] In Round 25 against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, he played his 150th NRL match in the Knights' 20-18 loss at Hunter Stadium.[43][44] He finished off the 2015 season as the Knights' highest try-scorer with 12 tries in 22 matches as the club finished last.[45]

2016Edit

In February, Uate played for the Knights in the 2016 NRL Auckland Nines.[46] On 7 May, he played for Fiji against Papua New Guinea in the 2016 Melanesian Cup.[47] After round 12 against the Parramatta Eels, he was demoted to the Knights' Intrust Super Premiership NSW team where he failed to break in the Knights' top 17 for the rest of the season.[48][49] He finished the 2016 season having played in 10 matches and scoring 1 try.[50] In October, he was released from the final year of his Knights contract to sign a 2-year contract with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles starting in 2017.[51]

2017Edit

In round 1 of 2017 season, Uate made his debut for the Sea Eagles in their 12-20 loss at Brookvale Oval against the Parramatta Eels.[52] He played 24 matches and scored 14 tries.[53] Uate was selected in the Fiji 24-man squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. On 5 November against Wales, he used his speed and foot work to beat a handful of Wales players, before pushing a one-handed passed around the back of the last defender, finding his winger Marcelo Montoya, who dived over for a try. Uate was awarded the man of a match award as Fiji won 72-6 win at 1300SMILES Stadium. He played 5 matches and scored 1 try in the tournament.[54]

2018Edit

In June, Uate signed a 3-year contract with Super League side Huddersfield Giants, starting in 2019.[55]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Akuila Uate - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ Keeble, Brett (15 April 2014). "Knee injury rules Aku Uate out of Knights team to play Broncos | Newcastle Herald". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Wolfman vs Akuila the Thriller". Nrl.com. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Akuila Uate Breaks Knights Try Scoring Record". The Australian. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Andrew Johns rates Knight Akuila Uate "best league athlete" - Herald …". 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  6. ^ Rossleigh, Matthew (1 October 2006). "Panthers edge out Knights in Flegg". League Unlimited. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  7. ^ Stewart, David (11 March 2011). "Family first for Knights' Akuila Uate | Newcastle Herald". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 5 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Fiji crush Cook Islands 40-4 in league - Breaking News - Sport - Breaking News". Smh.com.au. 7 October 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Sharks edge out the Knights". Theage.com.au. 19 July 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  11. ^ "BBC SPORT | Rugby League | Anderson ruled out of World Cup". BBC News. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 13 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  13. ^ "BBC SPORT | Rugby League | Fiji 42-6 France". BBC News. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  14. ^ "World Cup Players To Watch - Pools B and C". Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  15. ^ Dillon, Robert (15 July 2009). "Akuila Uate repays Smith's faith, with interest | Newcastle Herald". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  16. ^ [2][dead link]
  17. ^ "Green and Gold Beckons Knight". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  18. ^ "PM's XIII made to work for PNG win - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  19. ^ "All Stars Defeat the Indigenous All Stars 28-12". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  20. ^ Brad Walter. "Rugby League Origin | Country beats City | Photos". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Queensland Host NSW in 2011 State of Origin Opener". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  22. ^ "Queensland v NSW". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  23. ^ "Eight is Enough for Good Friday Knights". Couriermail.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
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  25. ^ "Kangaroos Beat New Zealand 42-6". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  26. ^ "Akuila Uate Wins 2011 Players' Player Of The Year". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  27. ^ "Lowdown on Test Blockbuster". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  28. ^ "NSW Do Battle With Queensland in State of Origin Game". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Uate dropped for Origin decider". M.nrl.com. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Fans Believe Ben Barba Will Score in Runaway Win in the Dally M Award". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  31. ^ "Late Akuila Uate Try Saves Prime Minister's XIII from Embarrassment in Papua New Guinea". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  32. ^ "Indigenous All-Stars v NRL All Stars". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  33. ^ "Akuila Uate re-signs with Newcastle Knights until the end of 2017, ending rumours of a defection to Japan". News.com.au. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Country Overcome City in Close Clash". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  35. ^ Dillon, Robert (26 May 2013). "Men down: Boyd, Uate injuries compound Newcastle's woes". The Courier. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  36. ^ "Newcastle Knights Star Akuila Uate Set to Fire at World Cup to Prove a Point". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  37. ^ "Fiji Open Up Their World Cup Campaign With a 32-14 Win Over Ireland". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  38. ^ "Squads For Auckland Nines". Rugby League Week. 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  39. ^ "Wests Tigers trump Uate hat-trick". NRL.com. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  40. ^ "Knights Snatch Victory at the Death Against Melbourne Storm". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  41. ^ "Sharks snap home hoodoo". NRL.com. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  42. ^ Dillon, Robert (3 May 2015). "Knights shine as Country carve up City rivals in Origin audition | Newcastle Herald". Theherald.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  43. ^ "Bulldogs out to spoil Gidley NRL farewell". 28 August 2015. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  44. ^ "No fairytale ending for Newcastle Knights stalwart Kurt Gidley as Canterbury Bulldogs win but lose Trent Hodkinson". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  45. ^ "Custom Match List". Rugby League Project. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
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  47. ^ "Papua New Guinea hold on to upset Fiji in Pacific Test thriller". Dailytelegraph.com.au. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  48. ^ "Knights' Akuila Uate may be ruing decision to knock back lucrative offers to play rugby". Dailytelegraph.com.au. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  49. ^ Rugby League (20 June 2016). "NRL: Newcastle Knights playing hardball with out-of-favour Akuila Uate". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  50. ^ "Custom Match List". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  51. ^ NRL Digital Media. "announce Uate signing & Buhrer release". Sea Eagles. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  52. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "NRL 2017 - Round 1 - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  53. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Custom Match List - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  54. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Custom Match List - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  55. ^ "Uate signs with English club Huddersfield for 2019 - Zero Tackle". 13 June 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.

External linksEdit