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'Tongan Thor' schoolboy sensation may take up Australian offers

18-year-old Taniela Tupou is in high demand thanks to a viral video of his hat-trick.

THE SCHOOLBOY WHO became an overnight rugby sensation when a video of him scoring a hat-trick for Auckland’s Sacred Heart College went viral says he may turn to Australia for international honours if New Zealand don’t provide him with opportunities.

18-year-old Taniela Tupou shot to widespread renown in May when the clips of him running in three tries for his school circulated like wildfire.

Dubbed the ‘Tongan Thor’, Tupou grew up in his native Tonga before moving to New Zealand in 2010. In his first interview with the New Zealand Herald, the youngster says playing for the Kiwis would be his preference.

Source: Aotearoa SportsVideos/YouTube

However, Tupou says he may have to look to Australia, from where he has had offers, if complications persist with New Zealand. There has also been contact from Europe, according to the player.

Maybe I’m not good enough to stay here. But that’s one of my goals this year – to play for the New Zealand A team. If I can play with them, then maybe I’ll change my mind from going to Australia.

“If I have the chance to play for the All Blacks, I’ll take it. If I can’t make the All Blacks and I can’t make the Wallabies, then maybe I’ll play for the other one – [Tongan national rugby team] Ikale Tahi.”

“They said that if you’re not on a New Zealand passport and you’ve been here for four years, you can play for the team. But I’ve been here for four years and they said I can’t play for the New Zealand A team. It’s not fair.”

Read the full interview with Tupou here.

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Murray Kinsella

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