Taniela tupou

Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou to depart Reds for new Super team

Queensland Reds powerhouse Tupou has told his teammates he will leave for the Melbourne Rebels next season, the prop recovering from an Achilles tear and unlikely to feature in Super Rugby Pacific until then.

Tupou arrived at Ballymore as a teenager with a viral YouTube highlights reel but will depart as a 26-year-old father, just shy of 100 caps and among the club’s top-five tryscorers.

AAP understands there are no sour grapes at the Reds, who were aware Tongan-born Tupou sought a change of scenery after nine years in Brisbane.

Wallaby front-rowers make strong case for change

Recalled playmaker Quade Cooper was the unlikely hero, booting Australia to a memorable 28-26 victory over the world champion Springboks with a penalty kick after the siren on Sunday night for their first Rugby Championship win.

That came after the Wallabies forwards put a big shove on the powerhouse South African scrum in the dying seconds which ultimately led to halfback Nic White winning a breakdown penalty.

“The two scrums before that scrum we went backwards so we came together and we wanted to come up with a plan – we needed to get that scrum,” Tupou said on Monday.

Tupou signs contract extension

The Tonga-born prop agreed a deal to remain with the Queensland Super Rugby franchise and continue to be available for the Wallabies until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Tupou has won 13 caps for Australia since making his debut against Scotland in 2017, having made a big impact with the Reds after joining them straight from high school five years ago.

The 23-year-old said: "I'm very excited to sign for the next few years. Queensland and Australia offered me the first opportunity out of school and I feel I have more to do to repay that faith.

Wallabies prop Tupou robbed near team hotel in Johannesburg

Tupou and the rest of the Wallabies front rowers were walking back to their hotel, the Sandton Sun, at approximately 9:15pm local after a dinner just across the road, when a man walked past and grabbed his phone before running towards a waiting vehicle.

After initially believing it to be one of his teammates, Tupou realised it was a stranger and pursued the man, sustaining some minor cuts to his arm attempting to grab the device out of the car.

Tupou said on Sunday evening (AEST) that he was feeling okay after the incident.

Tongan Thor makes his presence felt

He just got a whole lot better in every other department.

Jet-heeled prop Tupou showed he is ready to add to his one substitute appearance for the Wallabies with an eye-catching 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 spectacular 30-metre burst and offload down the left flank.

Tupou wants another taste of Test rugby

Tupou has had a career year as Queensland's go to option at tighthead prop, his scrummaging and defensive work now complementing the world class carries which made him a YouTube sensation.

He is arguably the form prop in the country and that will have him firmly part of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika's plans when Ireland come to town in June.

"I really hope I'll be able to get a chance to play later on this year," Tupou said.

"I've been focusing on the Reds but if I get a chance to play again that would be awesome."

Wallabies lock in 'Tongan Thor'

The former New Zealand schoolboy rugby star and and young prop is one of four young players picked by the Wallabies as development players for the tour.

Tupou who's is now 20 and playing for the Queensland Reds is still a year off completing his three year residency requirement under World Rugby rules, to be eligible to play for Australia.

Photo: Photosport