Matthew Papali'i Toomua /ˈtmə/ (born 2 January 1990)[3] is an Australian rugby union player who has played over 35 times for Australia since 2013. He plays for the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby and his usual position is at fly-half or inside centre. He has previously played for the Brumbies in Australia and for Leicester Tigers in England's Premiership Rugby.

Matt Toomua
Wallaby Matt Toomua speaks to the media in Sydney 2014 (cropped).jpg
To'omua in 2014
Birth nameMatthew Papali'i To'omua
Date of birth (1990-01-02) 2 January 1990 (age 30)
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Height182 cm (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight91 kg (14 st 5 lb)[1]
SchoolBrisbane State High School[2]
SpouseEllyse Perry (Cricket)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half, centre
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008–2016 Brumbies 88 (102)
2009 Western Province 4 (0)
2016–2019 Leicester Tigers 41 (75)
2019– Melbourne Rebels 5 (0)
2008–present Total 138 (177)
Correct as of 17 May 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013– Australia 47 ((67))
Correct as of 19 September 2019

Early lifeEdit

To'omua was born in Melbourne, Victoria to a Samoan father and a New Zealand mother of European origin.[4] To'omua moved to Brisbane where he played his junior football with Logan City before attending Brisbane State High School. In 2006 he guided the Queensland II side to their maiden Australian National Schools Championship title, scoring all of his side's points in their 14–13 final win over NSW II in Sydney. Competing against the likes of older flyhalves Kurtley Beale (NSW) and Queensland's Quade Cooper, To'omua was selected in the Australia A side that defeated the Tongan Under 18s, 22–18. Two months later, he captained Queensland Red to the finals of the National Under 16 Championship in Sydney.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

 
Wallaby Matt To'omua and fans in 2014
 
To'omua in 2009

To'omua is a fly-half who headed to Canberra as a potential long-term playmaker prospect for the two-time Super Rugby champions. To'omua is a product of Brisbane State High School.

In July 2007 To'omua won his second Australian Schools Championship, guiding Queensland I to a come-from-behind 23–17 win over NSW I in Canberra. His performance during the tournament earned him the pivot's role for the Australian Schoolboys where he helped guide the side to wins over the England Under 18s (11–3), Samoan Schools (50–9) and a 23–17 win over New Zealand Schools in Sydney, the side's first win over their trans-Tasman rivals since 1997.

In 2013, the Brumbies selected To'omua at fly half.[5] In the Brumbies first game of the 2013 Super Rugby season, Lealiifano moved to inside centre;[6] and both To'omua and Lealiifano played the full 80 minutes to help the Brumbies defeat the Reds.[7] During the semi-final clash against the South African team: the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, To'omua help set-up the match-winning try to outside-centre Tevita Kuridrani in the final minutes of the game, helping the Brumbies to win 26–23 which had also guided the team to the Grand Final match against the Chiefs.

After an outstanding Super Rugby season with the Brumbies in 2013, To'omua was selected in the Wallabies 2013 Rugby Championship Squad. On 18 August, he made his Test debut for the Wallabies at Sydney's ANZ Stadium facing the current World Champion All Blacks in the 1st Bledisloe Cup Test (of 2013). He became the first Wallaby debutant player to make his Test debut against the All Blacks in the Wallabies starting XV since Rod Kafer. He was on the field for 60 minutes before being substituted by Quade Cooper.

Following the Sydney Bledisloe Cup game loss, Ewen McKenzie stuck with him at fly-half for the second Bledisloe Cup Test at Westpac Stadium in the New Zealand national capital, Wellington. However, the Wallabies ended-up losing 16–27, and the All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup (for 2013). The following that game To'omua was benched for the rest of the 2013 Rugby Championship and Quade Cooper claimed the No. 10 fly-half jersey.

On 19 October, To'omua was selected at inside centre for the third Bledisloe Cup clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. He scored a try at Test level in the game's second half.[citation needed] The Wallabies lost 33–41.

On the Wallabies Europe Spring-Tour, coach Ewen McKenzie selected him at inside centre for the clashes against England (where he scored the only try for the Wallabies in that game), Italy and Ireland. In the lead-up to the clash against Scotland, To'omua injured his hamstring at training which ruled him out of the rest of the Wallabies final two Spring Tour games.

On 15 November 2015 Leicester Tigers announced the signing of To'omua from the summer of 2016.[8] He made his debut for Leicester on 14 October 2016 in a 42–13 defeat to Glasgow Warriors, To'omua was sent to the sin bin after 13 minutes for a spear tackle.[9] To'omua then suffered a serious knee injury in the next game, his first game at Welford Road, which ruled him out for six months.[10]

In August 2018, it was announced that To'omua would return to his hometown to join the Melbourne Rebels after the 2018–19 Premiership Rugby season.[11] Following a disappointing season where Leicester had to fight relegation To'ouma was released early on 13 May 2019 to join the Rebels with immediate effect.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

To'omua married international cricket and soccer star Ellyse Perry in December 2015.

Career statisticsEdit

As of 16 June 2019[13][14]
Season Team Games Starts Sub Mins Tries Cons Pens Drops Points Yel Red
2008 Brumbies 3 0 3 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 Brumbies 9 4 5 323 0 1 0 1 5 0 0
2010 Brumbies 7 5 2 415 3 0 0 0 15 0 0
2011 Brumbies 6 4 2 321 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012 Brumbies 3 3 0 210 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 Brumbies 18 18 0 1402 2 1 0 0 12 0 0
2014 Brumbies 17 17 0 1284 7 2 0 0 39 2 0
2015 Brumbies 12 11 1 815 2 0 0 0 10 0 0
2016 Brumbies 13 13 0 989 3 3 0 0 21 2 0
2019 Rebels 5 2 3 173 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Super Rugby 93 77 16 5950 17 7 0 1 102 4 0
2016–17 Leicester 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017–18 Leicester 17 17 0 1280 4 10 6 0 58 0 0
2018–19 Leicester 12 10 2 753 0 2 2 0 10 1 0
English Premiership 29 27 2 2033 4 12 8 0 68 1 0
Total 122 104 18 7983 21 19 8 1 170 5 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Matt Toomua". Australian Rugby Union. 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Matt Toomua". Australian Rugby Union. 2014. Archived from the original on 26 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Matt To'omua". ESPN. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  4. ^ Dutton, Chris (31 March 2012). "Toomua finally feels he's in tune". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Toomua taking baby steps in comeback". Grandstand Rugby Union. ABC. AAP. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Brumbies down Reds". SA Rugby. 16 February 2013. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  7. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Brumbies 24-6 Reds". South African Rugby Union. 16 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Leicester Tigers sign Australia utility back Matt Toomua". The Guardian. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  9. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup: Glasgow Warriors 42-13 Leicester Tigers". BBC. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Leicester's Matt Toomua out for six months with serious knee injury". The Guardian. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Toomua to call Melbourne home from 2019" (Press release). Melbourne Rebels. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Matt Toomua: Leicester Tigers centre leaves early to join Melbourne Rebels". BBC. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Player Statistics". its rugby. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Leicester Tigers". leicestertigers.com. Retrieved 20 May 2017.

External linksEdit