WHO’S HE LIKE

Inside Sport - - HOW GOOD IS -

The ob­vi­ous com­par­i­son is Tatafu “Taf” Polota-Nau. Malone doesn’t di­verge from that. “It stands up,” he says. “Tolu is busy in the game like Taf. And he clearly was a fan of Taf’s grow­ing up, given their sim­i­lar tack­ling style. Tolu’s been in trou­ble with bro­ken arms, that sort of thing.”

Like Polota-Nau, Latu is multi-tal­ented for a hooker. Malone says Latu’s qual­i­ties run deep. “He’s got heart, he’s a very tough bug­ger; he can play through pain. He’s ag­gres­sive, com­mit­ted. He’s got great ball skills. He’s built low to the ground, he can move, step off both feet. He reads the game, un­der­stands it. He’s ex­plo­sive, bal­lis­tic. He’s just a tal­ented foot­baller, a nat­u­ral. And he’s got a very hard head.”

One of Malone’s favourite plays at Uni saw Latu and fel­low Ton­gan front-rower Sam Talakai stand­ing at No.10 and No.12, at­tack­ing off a five-man li­ne­out, the big­gest play­mak­ers in the

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