Tupou adds ex­tra skills to X- fac­tor

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT -

THE Taniela Tupou who ter­rorised school­boy rugby op­po­nents never re­ally went away, Reds coach Brad Thorn be­lieves. He just got a lot bet­ter in every other depart­ment.

Jet-heeled prop Tupou showed he was ready to add to his one sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ance for the Wal­la­bies with an eye­catch­ing dis­play for the Queens­land Reds in their 38-34 loss to the Hur­ri­canes in Welling­ton. Tupou pow­ered over for one try and set up an­other for winger Jor­dan Pe­taia with a 30m burst and off­load down the left flank.

The tight-head, who turned 22 last week, made his name as a social media sen­sa­tion in Auck­land five years ago when he ran through and around school de­fences with an ath­leti­cism that de­fied his bulk.

“He’s al­ways had that — it was never a ques­tion of that,” Thorn said. “He’s a big lad.

“What, about 133kg — but there are big lads all around the world and they know how to tackle. You want to have a com­plete game.”

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