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Setareki Tamanivalu (born 23 July 1992) is a Fijian-born New Zealand rugby union player and former All Black. He currently plays in the centre (and occasionally wing) position for Taranaki and the Christchurch-based Super Rugby side the Crusaders.[1]

Seta Tamanivalu
Full nameSetareki Tamanivalu
Date of birth (1992-07-23) 23 July 1992 (age 27)
Place of birthLautoka, Fiji
Height1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight104 kg (16 st 5 lb; 229 lb)
SchoolLelean Memorial School
Saint Kentigern College
Notable relative(s)Manasa Mataele (nephew)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre, Wing
Current team Bordeaux
All Black No. 1148
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012–2018 Taranaki 61 (130)
2015–2016 Chiefs 22 (45)
2017–2018 Crusaders 33 (75)
2018– Bordeaux 0 (0)
Correct as of 20 October 2018
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015–2017 New Zealand 5 (0)
2016 Barbarian F.C. 1 (0)
Correct as of 30 December 2017

Early lifeEdit

Tamanivalu was born and raised in Fiji. He attended Lelean Memorial School where he excelled in both rugby union and rugby league. He was a member of the Fiji Secondary Schools under-18 rugby league squad that toured Australia in 2010.[2] He later migrated to New Zealand where he gained a scholarship at Saint Kentigern College to play rugby.

Playing careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Tamanivalu was one of five newcomers in Colin Cooper's Taranaki squad named for their 2012 campaign.[3] He made his professional debut for Taranaki in the 2012 ITM Cup competition, coming on as a replacement against Hawke's Bay.

In 2013, the then 21-year-old was named most promising player of the year after a season that saw him get a regular starting spot, his all-round game had been right up there with the best of the Taranaki backs.[4] He had also been the most threatening attacker which saw him win top try scorer alongside teammate Andre Taylor.[5]

In the 2014 ITM Cup season he was in the top five statistics in tries scored, clean breaks, defenders beaten, metres gained and offloads.[6] His impressive form saw him win the 2014 ITM Cup player of the year, over finalists Shane Christie and Nehe Milner-Skudder.[7] It also saw several Super Rugby franchises in New Zealand and Australia were chasing his signature before he opted to head to the Chiefs in early October.[8]

2015-2016Edit

Tamanivalu poised for what promised to be an exciting 2015, It never eventuated, however, with Tamanivalu struggling for game-time with the Chiefs in the 2015 Super Rugby competition. Itching to get back into the provincial season, things took a backwards step after he strained a knee playing for the New Zealand Barbarians against the Māori All Blacks.[9] Tamanivalu recorded nine appearances and scored four tries for the Taranaki province.

Tamanivalu had a breakout Super Rugby season in 2016, becoming a regular starter for the Chiefs. Tamanivalu was the third-to-highest try-scorer of the competition in the 2016 Super Rugby season, tied with four other players. Tamanivalu scored nine tries for the Chiefs in 2016, the team's second-to-highest try-scorer behind fullback and future All Black teammate Damian McKenzie.

In June 2016, All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen included him in his 32-man squad for the 2016 June international test series against Wales.[10] He was named on the bench for their first test against Wales, making his international debut on 11 June 2016 alongside flanker Ardie Savea. Tamanivalu only played for five minutes, but the All Blacks managed to win 39-21. [11] Tamanivalu was retained on the bench for the second test of the series on 18 June 2016, coming on early at half-time for an injured Malakai Fekitoa. Tamanivalu unfortunately had an average performance, being bested by Welsh opposite Jonathan Davies as Tamanivalu conceded a try to Davies. The All Blacks still won 36-22, despite Tamanivalu being bested by his opposition.

Tamanivalu was not initially selected for the 2016 Rugby Championship, being replaced by Blues midfielder George Moala who was called in for the third Welsh test as injury cover. Tamanivalu was called back into the All Blacks camp after a concussion to future Crusaders teammate Ryan Crotty and replaced debutant Anton Lienert-Brown on 27 August 2016 as the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 29-9.

On 29 September 2016 it was announced that Tamanivalu had signed a one-year deal with the Crusaders for the 2017 Super Rugby season.[12]

2017-2018Edit

Tamanivalu shifted positions upon moving to the Crusaders, spending most of the 2017 Super Rugby season on the wing. Tamanivalu was again one of the competition's highest try-scorers, scoring his tenth of the season to open the 2017 Super Rugby Final against the Lions in Johannesburg on 5 August 2017. Tamanivalu's try contributed to the Crusaders beating the Lions 25-17 as they won the competition for the eighth time.

Earlier in the year, on 10 June 2017, Tamanivalu started on the right wing for the Crusaders against the touring British and Irish Lions side, playing the full 80 minutes against the Lions. The fixture was a historic loss for the Crusaders who went down 3-12.

After season-ending injuries to All Blacks wingers Nehe Milner-Skudder and Israel Dagg, Tamanivalu earned a re-call to international rugby for the 2017 end-of-year tour. Tamanivalu made his first start for the All Blacks on 5 November 2017 as he played the full 80 minutes on the left wing during the All Blacks' 31-22 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium in London. On 14 November 2017, Tamanivalu made his final appearance in the black jersey as he again went without being subbed off as the All Blacks beat a French XV 28-23.

Tamanivalu has signed a three-year deal with Union Bordeaux Bègles, based in Bordeaux, France which is scheduled to commence at the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Seta Tamanivalu Chiefs Profile". 28 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Hunter Academy First For Fiji 18". Fiji Sun. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Cooper settles on a super squad". Taranaki Daily News. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Seta Tamanivalu desperate to make his mark". Stuff. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Taranaki's top rugby folk praised". Club Rugby. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Tamanivalu up for NPC player of year award". Stuff. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  7. ^ "2014 Steinlager Rugby Awards – Results". Rugby Heartland. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Chiefs snap up Taranaki talent". One News. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Star Taranaki centre Seta Tamanivalu getting back to full fitness". Stuff. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  10. ^ "All Blacks squad named for 2016 Steinlager Series". allblacks.com. New Zealand Rugby Union. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  11. ^ "All Blacks team for first Steinlager Series Test". All Blacks. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  12. ^ "AB's power lured Crusaders". Stuff. Retrieved 30 September 2016.

External linksEdit