Ben Tapuai (born 19 January 1989, in Brisbane) is an Australian professional rugby player for Harlequins, who play in the Gallagher Premiership. Tapuai grew up in Melbourne and is of Samoan heritage.
Tapuai in the 2016 NRC
|Birth name||Ben N. L. Tapuai|
|Date of birth||19 January 1989|
|Place of birth||Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||95 kg (14 st 13 lb)|
|School||The Southport School|
|Rugby union career|
In 2005 Tapuai was part of the World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament in Japan.
In 2006 Tapuai was part of the Australian Schoolboys squad that toured Fiji and New Zealand, along with Robert Horne. Both Tapuai and Horne continued in the Schoolboys in 2007, and Tapuai was selected at inside centre (No.12) ahead of fellow Queensland representative James O'Connor.
Tapuai is a product of Sunnybank. In 2011 Tapuai he and his brother Rex Tapuai formed a strong partnership at inside (No.12) and outside centre (No.13) to help the 'Dragons' win the final of the Queensland Premier Rugby competition.
He played few games for Reds in 2010, and coach Ewen McKenzie said Tapuai had struggled to get through 80 minutes and needed to work on his fitness. Regarding Tapuai's versatility, McKenzie said, "He can play No.10, 12 and 13. He's probably better suited to No.13 but it depends on the centre combination."
In 2011 Reds acknowledged Tapuai's emerging talents - strong defence, straight ball running and accurate left boot, and he received the Reds award for Most Improved Player.
Later in 2011, Tapuai made his debut for the Wallabies, in Australia's 60-11 win against the Barbarians at Twickenham. This was a non-cap match, and he went on as a replacement for Berrick Barnes. A week later he made his test debut for Australia against Wales, in Cardiff, called on to replace Adam Ashley-Cooper.
In 2012 "Tapuai started in the Reds first eight games ... until he sustained a broken collarbone in a tackle by Stormers centre Juan de Jongh in Brisbane." Against the Waratahs, in Round 18, Tapuai left the bench to replace Faingaa in the 78th minute.
In 2012 here was speculation Tapuai would sign with the Melbourne Rebels for 2013. He said, "I was contemplating going, but at the end of the day I stuck at it and stuck with the Reds ... but in saying that it would be awesome to go back to Melbourne and to finish off there, but I haven't even thought of that."
On 2 November 2016, Tapuai left Western Force to join English club Bath in the Aviva Premiership with immediate effect. On 6 March 2018, Tapuai agrees a deal to join Premiership rivals Harlequins from the 2018-19 season.
Super Rugby StatisticsEdit
- As of 25 July 2016
- "Ben Tapuai Player Profile". Queensland Reds. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Australian Schoolboys Ready for Ballymore Battle with England" (Press release). Australian Rugby Union. 17 August 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "SS Management". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Wallabies profile, 2011
- Garry, Chris (7 November 2011). "Wallaby call rewards hard-working Tapuai". Courier-Mail. News. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Harris, Bret (22 November 2011). "Ben Tapuai ready to take his chance with both hands on Wallaby tour". Australian. News. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- AAP (7 November 2011). "Uncapped trio in Wallabies squad". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Harris, Bret (23 May 2012). "Rebels set to pot another Red". Australian. News. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "SA Rugby Match Centre – Reds 32-16 Waratahs". South African Rugby Union. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- Paxinos, Stathi (7 March 2013). "Tapuai fancied a Rebels move". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "Bath to sign Australia and Western Force centre Ben Tapuai". Sky Sports. 2 November 2016.
- "Ben Tapuai: Harlequins to sign Bath and Australia centre". BBC Sport. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "Ben Tapuai Player Statistics". its rugby. Retrieved 26 July 2016.