Get to know the powerful forward whose father played international rugby

Hotshot: Scarlets back-row Carwyn Tuipulotu

Date of birth 28 September 2001 Born Abergavenny Position Back-row Region Scarlets Country Wales

How old were you when you started rugby? 

Ten, at my local club New Brighton on the Wirral. I was playing other sports at primary school before, then one of the junior coaches spotted me watching my dad’s game and asked me to come along to training. I loved it from the first session.

What other sports have you played? 

When I was at Sedbergh School I did cricket, hockey, a bit of tennis, golf…

I think it’s quite important for kids to try other sports rather than just stick to one.

What about positions? 

I started off at prop, then I’ve played wing, centre, second-row and for the last two years back-row. I see myself in the back row.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? 

My dad (ex-Tonga back-row Katilimoni Tuipulotu). He lets me know if I’ve had a good or bad game. He’s my main critic and I listen to what he says. It’s tough love but it’s good for me, it pushes me on. I want to make him proud.

When did you link up with Scarlets

At 16. I’d just started playing for Wales U18. The Welsh Exiles spotted me playing for Sedbergh in the NatWest Cup; they saw the name Carwyn.

I was born in Wales and my dad was drawn to the name’s meaning of ‘blessed love’. He then got a contract with New Brighton and we moved. When I joined Scarlets (full-time) last year they moved back to Wales too.

What are your goals for this season?

I hope to make my mark on the Scarlets first team, to just try and cement a place. Long term it’s getting into the Wales set-up, but first it’s the Scarlets.

What do you do outside of rugby? 

I’m about to start the second year of my philosophy degree at Swansea University. It’s full-time but they’re pretty flexible; it’s on me to be diligent if I have to miss lectures to train. I think I’d like to teach religious studies; I was inspired by one of my teachers.

RW Verdict: He certainly has the pedigree to reach the top of the game, with his father’s Test achievements and those of his ‘cousins’ the Vunipolas and Taulupe Faletau. He’ll be aiming to show his ball-carrying skills for the Scarlets this term.

This article originally appeared in Rugby World’s October 2021 edition.

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