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Kalolo Tuiloma (born 24 June 1990) is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays for the Highlanders in Super Rugby and Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup. His regular playing position is tighthead prop.[1][2]

Kalolo Tuiloma
Date of birth (1990-06-24) 24 June 1990 (age 29)
Place of birthWellington, New Zealand
Height1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight137 kg (21 st 8 lb; 302 lb)
SchoolAorere College
Timaru Boys' High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Tighthead Prop
Current team Highlanders / Counties Manukau
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013 South Canterbury ()
2016– Counties Manukau 11 (20)
2016–2017 Grenoble ()
2018– Highlanders 2 (0)
Correct as of 14 April 2018

Early careerEdit

Born in Wellington, but raised in the suburbs of Auckland, Tuiloma originally played in the number eight position for Aorere College before heading south to complete his schooling at Timaru Boys' High School. He played Heartland Championship rugby with South Canterbury in 2013, however soon after his career went on a downward spiral. Unable to crack the Canterbury ITM Cup team, he turned to food and alcohol and saw his weight balloon to 181 kg.

Seeking help he moved back to the Auckland area to be closer to his family and joined the Bombay Rugby club who were at the time coached by Darryl Suasua. Suasua saw Tuiloma's potential to be a prop forward and began converting him from a loose forward to a front rower. While at Bombay, he helped them to win the McNamara Cup, Counties Manukau's Premier club competition in both 2014 and 2015.[2][3]

Senior careerEdit

Tuiloma was first named in the Counties Manukau Steelers squad ahead of the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup where he again linked up with former Bombay coach Darryl Suasua, who was now in charge of the Steelers. Pre-season injuries to experienced front-row pair Pauliasi Manu and Nepo Laulala opened the door for Tuiloma, who quickly cemented himself as a regular starter in the number 3 jersey. He played all 11 of Counties Manukau's games during the campaign and scored 4 tries, including a memorable hat-trick against Waikato as the Steelers reached the Premiership semi-finals before going down to Canterbury.[4][5]

In October 2016, it was announced that Tuiloma would take up a 7-month contract with French side Grenoble where he would serve as a medical joker until the end of the 2016–17 season.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kalolo Tuiloma Counties Manukau Steelers Player Profile". Steelers Rugby. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "181kg and depressed to a pro contract in France: Kalolo Tuiloma's tale". The 42. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  3. ^ "From 181kg to starting prop for Counties Manukau". New Zealand Herald. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Kalolo Tuiloma itsrugby Player Statistics". it's rugby. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Kalolo Tuiloma scores hat-trick as Counties-Manukau power over Waikato". Rugby Heaven. 24 September 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.