Get to know the Tongan prop known as 'Big Ben'

Tongan prop Ben Tameifuna was famously stood down by his then-French club Racing 92, after returning from the 2019 World Cup in Japan weighing an unhealthy 160kg.

Related: Tonga Rugby World Cup squad 2023 

But that’s really not the most important thing about the Auckland-born tighthead, who combines unfathomable scrum power with deft handling skills – and a sweet right foot, if various videos on social media are anything to go by.

Is There A Better Prop Kicking Than Ben Tameifuna? | Take a look at Racing 92 prop Ben Tameifuna slotting these over the upright with a Rugby Bricks Vortex High Cut Kicking Tee. Tag a prop or even a… | By Rugby Bricks | Facebook

40K views, 284 likes, 20 loves, 259 comments, 89 shares, Facebook Watch Videos from Rugby Bricks: Take a look at Racing 92 prop Ben Tameifuna slotting these over the upright with a Rugby Bricks…

Having left New Zealand in 2015, he now plies his trade in France with Bordeaux. Here are ten things you need to know about him.

Ten Facts About Ben Tameifuna

1. Benjamin Vainga Charles Tameifuna was born on August 30, 1991, in Auckland. 

2. Noted for his size, the tighthead prop stands 1.82m tall, and weighs in at 148kg, according to his Top 14 club, Bordeaux.

Related: Meet rugby cult hero Ben Tameifuna

3. Tameifuna’s rugby career kicked off at Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand in 2010, when he was still a teenager. 

4. After representing New Zealand Under-20s at the 2011 Junior World Championships, he joined Hamilton-based Super Rugby side Chiefs. He made his senior debut in March 2012, and has won two Super Rugby titles.

5. In May 2012, he was called up to the All Blacks training squad ahead of Ireland’s tour that summer. He was not capped, and decided his international future was with Tonga, where his parents are from.

6. Ben Tameifuna had to wait until June 2017 to win his first international cap, for Tonga against Wales. He had been called up for Tonga’s end-of-year tour the previous November, but not capped.

7. To date, he has scored twice in international matches for Tonga.

8. His uncle is former Tongan and Chiefs prop Sona Taumalolo, who played in the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. Tameifuna left Chiefs to join his first French side, Racing 92, in July 2015, just as Taumalolo left the Ile-de-France club to join Grenoble.

9. In his first season with Racing 92, Tameifuna played 25 matches, and was in the starting XV for the Top 14 final victory over Toulon in front of a world-record 99,124 crowd at Barcelona’s Camp Nou. He also has a Champions Cup finalists’ medal, after starting against Saracens in that year’s final in Lyon.

10. After four seasons, and 106 matches with Racing 92, Tameifuna joined another Top 14 side, Bordeaux, at the end of the Covid-affected 2019-2020 season. He has featured in 77 matches for the Atlantic coast club.

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