Taniela Tupou makes case for being the strongest rugby player in the world
If there is a more impressive sight than Australia tighthead Taniela Tupou in full flight on a rugby pitch, it is probably witnessing the prop in the gym.
The 27-year-old is nothing short of a freak at the bench and the squat rack, but he may well have outdone his lofty standards recently.
The Wallabies shared a video of their squad in the gym as they prepare for the World Cup, where Tupou was squatting with four red plates and two blue plates either side of the bar. Though it is not clear what the exact weight was, red plates are usually 25kg and blue plates are usually 20kg. With the bar weighing 20kg as well, that makes a staggering 300kg that the Reds prop was squatting. In fact, it was so much weight that he had to use bands to keep all the weight plates on the bar.
Are there any players at the World Cup who will be squatting more than that?
Take a look:
— Wallabies (@wallabies) August 22, 2023
Tupou and the Wallabies squad embarked for the northern hemisphere last week, but received a peculiar send off with head coach Eddie Jones flying off the handle at the press conference at the airport. Jones questioned the negativity of the press ahead of the World Cup, where the Wallabies are in a pool with Wales, Fiji, Georgia and Portugal.
“I can’t believe the level of negativity here, boys,” he said.
“I know what’s wrong with Australian rugby and part of you blokes are the problem, because you’re so bloody negative about everything. So negative about everything.
“OK, so we’re going off to a World Cup you think we can’t win. You think the selection process is bad because a player’s complained. So I apologise for that. So we’ll go out there and do our best, boys. So if you haven’t got anything positive to say, don’t ask please.
“I know you blokes think we can’t do any good, so don’t ask any questions boys. Just be the pessimists you are, keep Australian rugby where it’s been. Keep it where it’s been. Complain about players that don’t get selected. Keep doing that, because it’s fantastic, because we love it.
“I love this negativity – it’s fantastic. I love it, love it – keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going.”