The factors that could keep Wallabies star in Australia
SPOTLIGHT: The lure of the 2025 British and Irish Lions series and 2027 home World Cup could be key factors in keeping Wallabies powerhouse Taniela Tupou in Australia long-term.
Tupou, 26, is off contract with Rugby Australia at year’s end, with overseas clubs set to challenge for the imposing prop’s signature.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Tupou said playing against the Lions was a goal he’d like to achieve in his career, as he kept the door open to a new deal with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds.
“I want to tick that off and for that to happen, obviously I need to be injury free and be in Australia,” said Tupou.
“Looking forward to see what happens and hopefully the Reds are keen to have me here for the next few years.
“I’d love to stay back here in Australia but we’ll see what happens.”
The 26-year-old prop suffered a ruptured achilles tendon playing for the Wallabies against Ireland in November and the long rehabilitation process means he will have limited time to prove his fitness to new coach Eddie Jones ahead of the World Cup in France starting in September.
Tupou says it was likely a stint in club rugby or an Australia ‘A’ tour will provide his path back, but his immediate priority was the rehab.
“My focus now is trying to get my achilles right and we’ll see what happens after that,” he added.
Asked if Jones’ appointment might sway his decision to remain with Rugby Australia Tupou said: “Nah, not really.
“I haven’t worked with him or done anything with Eddie before but I’ve heard a lot of good stories.
“From what I know he’s a very successful coach, especially in a World Cup year.
“If I get a chance to work with him, I’ll be excited because I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him.”