Nafi Tuitavake (born 21 January 1989)[1] is a New Zealand Rugby union player who plays for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the Super rugby competition.[2] He is the younger brother of former All Black winger Anthony Tuitavake.

Nafi Tuitavake
Date of birth (1989-01-21) 21 January 1989 (age 31)
Place of birthAuckland, New Zealand
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb; 209 lb)
SchoolMassey High School
Notable relative(s)Anthony Tuitavake (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre, Wing
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012–2013
2016–
Agen
Northampton Saints
11
15
(0)
(10)
Correct as of 7 June 2017
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008–2014 North Harbour 76 (115)
Correct as of 7 June 2017
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2014 Crusaders 20 (5)
Correct as of 7 June 2017
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2016- Tonga 13 (0)
Correct as of 11 September 2019
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps
2008 New Zealand

He was named in the Crusaders five-man wider training group for 2014.[3]

On 21 September 2016, Nafi sign professional contract with English club Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership from the 2016-17 season.[4]

Tuitavake made some good appearances in Saints' second side the Northampton Wanderers, before being drafted into the first team as the wider squad suffered with injuries. The Tonga centre thrived and secured a place in the first team quickly and most recently helped his side secure European Champions Cup rugby for the 2017/18 season as the side beat Stade Francais by just one point.[5]

Tuitavake will travel with Tonga for their 2017 summer internationals, battling with fellow Pacific Island nations, and Saints teammates, for a Rugby World Cup qualification for the 2019 competition. At the end of the 2018/19 season, Tuitivake was released by the Northampton Saints.

He gained selection to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and made just one appearance, against England, before being sent home with a fractured arm.

Career highlightsEdit

  • North Harbour ITM CUP 2010
  • New Zealand U20 2009
  • New Zealand Sevens 2008
  • North Harbour U21 2007
  • North Harbour U19 2006
  • North Harbour U16 2005

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ TVNZ player profile of Nafi Tuitavake
  2. ^ https://www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/rugby/profiles/profile/Nafi-Tuitavake
  3. ^ "Crusaders – The 2014 squad" (PDF). All Blacks. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Northampton sign Tonga centre Nafi Tuitavake". BBC Sport. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  5. ^ https://www.northamptonsaints.co.uk/news/latest-headlines/2017/may-2017/saints-23-stade-francais-22-friday-night-may-lights-strike-again/