Ben Tameifuna (pronounced Tongan pronunciation: [dɑːmeɪfʊnɑː]; born 30 August 1991) is a New Zealand born rugby union player who plays for the Tonga national rugby union team. Tameifuna was a member of Tonga's 31-man 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.
|Birth name||Benjamin Vainga Charles Tameifuna|
|Date of birth||30 August 1991|
|Place of birth||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||167 kg (26 st 4 lb; 368 lb)|
|School||Hastings Boys' High School|
|Notable relative(s)||Sona Taumalolo (uncle)|
|Rugby union career|
He plays club rugby for the French team Racing 92, having previously played for the Chiefs in Super Rugby and Hawke's Bay Magpies in the ITM Cup. In 2012 he became the Chiefs first choice tighthead prop. He is also acknowledged for his ability to fill in at hooker.
Tameifuna made his Hawke Bay's debut as a teenager in 2010. He represented the New Zealand under 20s at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship, and in March 2012 he made his Chiefs debut after an injury sidelined Ben Afeaki. In 2013, he signed a contract extension with the Chiefs until 2014.
In May 2012 he was selected for the All Blacks to train for the three Test series against Ireland. At over 130 kg, he was the heaviest member of the All Black squad. Tameifuna was not capped for New Zealand.
Tameifuna made his international debut for Tonga against Wales on 16 June 2017. Tameifuna was first in their squad for the 2016 European tour but was not capped on that tour.
After four years with the Chiefs, in June 2015 Tameifuna signed with Racing 92, who changed their name from Racing Metro in the same month. They are based in Paris and are part of the French Top 14.
Tameifuna's uncle Sona Taumalolo was another Chiefs prop, who also played for Tonga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In July 2012, with hooker Mahonri Schwalger from Samoa, the two props combined for 60 minutes to help the Chiefs beat the Crusaders 20–17, at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. When Tameifuna signed to play in France, Taumalolo was already playing there, for FC Grenoble.
- AFP (14 May 2012). "Loyalty and youth in All Blacks training squad". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Pegden, Evan (1 March 2012). "Chiefs replacements young, gifted and large". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Chiefs re-sign six players" (Press release). Chiefs. 23 June 2013. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "All Blacks seven new caps" (Press release). All Blacks and NZ Rugby. 3 June 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Three rookies bring Chiefs All Blacks to six". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna has confirmed his shift to French rugby club Racing Metro later this year". TVNZ. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- Mortimer, James (28 February 2012). "Ben Tameifuna could be called up by Chiefs" (Press release). All Blacks and NZ Rugby. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders". South African Rugby Union. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Grenoble keep Setephano, Taumalolo". Planet Rugby. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.