Te Rua Reihana Tipoki (born 11 August 1975 in Te Puia Springs, New Zealand)[1] brought up in Te Araroa in Gisborne, is a rugby union player who captained North Harbour to Ranfurly Shield victory in 2006. Tipoki played for a wide variety of teams including Munster Rugby. He currently plays for Ruatoria-based East Coast.

Rua Tipoki
Birth nameTe Rua Reihana Tipoki
Date of birth (1975-08-11) 11 August 1975 (age 44)
Place of birthTe Puia Springs, New Zealand
Height1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb)
SchoolWaitakere College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Bay of Plenty
North Harbour
East Coast
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
New Zealand Māori

Early career in New ZealandEdit

In his early career he played for Auckland Blues and Otago Highlanders in the Super 12 and the New Zealand 7s. He also played a major part in the Bay of Plenty Steamers first Ranfurly Shield win in 2004, played in the New Zealand Maori team which defeated the British and Irish Lions team for the first time ever in the history of Maori rugby in 2005,[2] and led North Harbour to their first Ranfurly Shield victory in 2006. He played one season for the Crusaders in 2007, before departing to Munster.


With Munster, he fashioned one of the best centre partnerships in the Heineken Cup with Lifeimi Mafi,[3] playing with passion and flair, a strong tackle and a great handoff and step. He was part of the Munster team that won the Heineken Cup on 24 May 2008 beating Toulouse 16-13 in the final. In all he made 29 appearances (including 27 competitive & 10 Heineken Cup games) for Munster, scoring 3 tries.

On 24 April 2009 Tipoki announced that he would return to his native New Zealand at the end of the season due to a hamstring injury that had consistently hampered him: "It has been a deeply frustrating time for me as I would dearly love to get back to helping the boys achieve the goals that they'd set out at the start of the year. At the minute however, I am not up to the level of fitness required and would not like to do the jersey or the team an injustice by taking the field when I know I can't give my all. This time in Munster has been brilliant for me and my family and while there is only one place you can call home, we will leave Munster with some great memories and having made lifelong friends."

East Coast comebackEdit

After a couple of years of recuperation in New Zealand, in 2011 Tipoki signed for the Ruatoria based team, East Coast.[4] In 2012 he captained the side to win the Meads Cup.[5]


  1. ^ Rua Tipoki player profile ESPN Scrum.com
  2. ^ "...the Maoris boasting Rico Gear, Carl Hayman and Munster's Rua Tipoki in their starting XV...", Donnchadh Boyle, 23 April 2009
  3. ^ "Munster magic makes fans of all of us" Andrew Baldock, 24 April 2008
  4. ^ "Rua Tipoki suspended two weeks for punch". Stuff.co.nz. NZPA. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  5. ^ "East Coast snare Meads Cup in dramatic fashion", Gisborne Herald, 27 Oct 2012

External linksEdit