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Johnny Leota (born 21 January 1984) is a rugby union player who plays for Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership. Leota was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand and made his international debut for Samoa in 2011; he has since won 20 caps. He previously played for Manawatu Turbos in the ITM Cup.

Johnny Leota
Full nameJohnny W. Leota
Date of birth (1984-01-21) 21 January 1984 (age 35)
Place of birthPalmerston North, New Zealand
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight104 kg (16 st 5 lb; 229 lb)
Notable relative(s)Liana Leota (wife)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre
Current team Sale Sharks
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004–2007 Manawatu 63 (15)
2008–2011 Otago 0 (0)
2008-2011Manawatu (loan) (0) ((0))
2008–2009 Highlanders 24 (10)
2011– Sale Sharks 129 (135)
2019- Template:North West Blades Men's Open 7 ()
Correct as of 6 June 2017
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011– Samoa 20 (10)
Correct as of 3 October 2015

Club careerEdit

Leota debuted for Manawatu in 2004 and developed into a fixture for the province, playing his 50th match in 2009. As part of his move to the Highlanders in 2008, he signed with Otago, but was immediately loaned back to Manawatu.

Leota missed most of the 2010 ITM Cup through injury, making only two appearances for the Turbos. He returned to action with Manawatu for the 2011 season.[1]

Leota was signed by the Highlanders for the 2008 Super 14 season, and established himself as a key member of the squad, starting 12 of the team's 13 games and scoring two tries in the process.

In 2009, Leota again made 12 appearances for the Highlanders, but was reduced to six starts and was used mainly as a substitute through the second half of the season.

Leota was not retained by the Highlanders for the 2010 Super 14 season, and instead found himself in the wider training group of the Hurricanes.[2] However, he did not make an appearance for the squad and was not brought back after missing most of the 2010 provincial season through injury.

On 11 August 2011, Leota moved to England as he signed for Sale Sharks who compete in the Aviva Premiership after the conclusion of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.[3]

International careerEdit

Leota was one of 25 players selected in the squad for the Samoan national team's 2011 Pacific Nations Cup campaign, in the leadup to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.[4] He made his international debut for Samoa against Tonga in Lautoka, Fiji. Shortly thereafter he returned to New Zealand and resumed provincial duties for Manawatu.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Johnny Leota is married to Liana Leota (née Barrett-Chase), a netball player in the Silver Ferns and the Southern Steel. The couple married in 2010 in Rarotonga, and have one daughter, Brooklyn.[6][7]


  1. ^ Lampp, Peter (22 June 2011). "Manawatu Turbos lock in their nucleus for NPC". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  2. ^ Heagney, George (25 January 2010). "Passed-over Leota will just work harder". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Sale Sharks snap up Samoa international centre Johnny Leota". ESPN scrum. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  4. ^ Lampp, Peter (29 June 2011). "Turbo Johnny Leota picked for Samoa squad". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  5. ^ Lampp, Peter (20 July 2011). "Leota back to speaking English". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  6. ^ Richardson, Daniel (20 October 2010). "Steel star has lots to look forward to". The Southland Times. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  7. ^ Lampp, Peter; Coffin, Tony. "Fame for lecturer's hockey coaching resource". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 17 July 2011.

External linksEdit