‘He’s 140kg, squats 300kg and moves at almost nine metres a second… a beast’
One of the biggest challenges Eddie Jones has on his hands this World Cup is trying to keep tighthead prop Taniela Tupou fit throughout the tournament, because he and everyone else is very much aware of how destructive the 140kg prop can be.
But such size and power will inevitably put a player at a greater injury risk, as ‘Tongan Thor’ has found out. But when fit and firing, the 27-year-old is as dangerous as any player out there. Just ask his front row teammate Angus Bell.
The Wallabies loosehead gave a glowing endorsement of Tupou recently, throwing around words like “beast,” “anomaly” and “freak” when describing him.
“He’s 140 kilos, he squats 300 kilos and he moves almost at nine metres a second,” Bell said.
“He’s a beast. He’s just an anomaly, he’s a freak. He’s something you can’t create. That’s what Nela is and we’re just lucky we have him in our team and he’s not playing for Tonga.”
Take a look at what Bell said:
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Tupou’s prowess at the squat rack and bench press are nothing new to the rugby world, as there have been plenty of videos over the years of the Wallaby lifting some inordinate amounts in the gym. But to partner that with some incredible athleticism on the grass is probably why Bell is in awe of his teammate.
Jones might be asking Tupou to tone down the weights over the next few weeks though to ensure he does not suffer any more injuries during the World Cup. After all, squatting 300kg comes with risks.
The head coach will want to start Tupou and Bell together this weekend when Australia get their World Cup underway against Georgia. That duo started against France last week, and is probably the preferred combination at this moment in time for the Wallabies.