Meet the teen who won her first cap just two years after picking up a rugby ball
Who is Sisilia Tuipulotu: Ten things you should know about the Wales forward
Sisilia Tuipulotu has made rapid progress in rugby, with her ball-carrying and power game to the fore.
Ten things you should know about Sisilia Tuipulotu
1. Sisilia Tuipulotu was born in Newport, Wales, on 14 August 2003. She stands at 5ft 9in (1.75m) and weighs 17st 11lb (113kg).
2. She plays for Allianz Premier 15s club Gloucester-Hartpury.
3. She won her first cap for Wales in the 2022 Women’s Six Nations, coming off the bench in the win over Ireland. And she had plenty of support in the stands in Dublin.
While she plays second-row for her club, she replaced winger Lisa Neumann to make her Test debut.
4. Tuipulotu was given a retainer (semi-pro) contract by the WRU in 2022 as part of the union’s increased commitment to women’s rugby. Head coach Ioan Cunningham said: “Sisilia is so young but the impact she could make over the coming years is massive.
“Now that she is able to train with us weekly, we feel her potential to develop physically and technically is off the scale.”
Tuipulotu says her “whole family cried” when they found out about the contract.
5. Her father, Sione, was a versatile back for Tonga, winning 29 caps between 1997 and 2008.
Scarlets back-row Carwyn Tuipulotu is her first cousin, the pair growing up in the same household, while her family are also close to those of Taulupe Faletau and the Vunipola brothers.
6. She is studying a psychology degree at the University of Gloucestershire.
7. Tuipulotu enjoys making TikTok content, saying: “I’m all over it! If I like the videos I see on the For You page, I recreate it.”
8. She first took up rugby at Hereford Sixth Form College aged 16. “Growing up I’d play tag with my brothers so I thought I’d give it a try and I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” she says.
9. Wales legend Liza Burgess spotted Tuipulotu playing in a college and brought her to Gloucester-Hartpury while she was part of the coaching set-up there.
10. She played netball growing up but told WalesOnline: “Because netball’s a non-contact sport, I’d be blown up for contact, I’d be blown up for obstruction, whatever it is… so I just thought I’ll give another sport a go!”
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