The Tuilagi family from Fogapoa Savaii have made a profound impact on global rugby, and this week, the latest Tuilagi to burst onto the scene will launch his international career for France.
Henry Tuilagi’s son, 18-year-old Posolo Tuilagi, will make his France U20s debut against England in the age-grade Six Nations on Friday.
Standing at 6’4″ or 192cm tall and weighing 145 kilograms, the teenager dwarfs his father, ‘The Butcher’ Henry Tuilagi who made 10 appearances for the Manu Samoa and played club rugby in Italy, France and England.
Henry Tuilagi was 128kg during his playing days and stood at 6’1″ – so his son is three inches taller and 17kg heavier, at just 18 years old.
Last September, Posolo Tuilagi made his debut for Perpignan against La Rochelle in the Top 14 – a landmark moment to extends the family’s renowned legacy.
The teenager has since made 10 appearances for Perpignan this season.
On his debut, the USA Perpignan Forwards Coach, Perry Freshwater described Posolo as “an extraordinary human being”.
“He has the same behaviors, the same mannerisms as his father. He runs the same way with the head tilts a little backwards,” said Freshwater who had played five seasons alongside Henry Tuilagi.
“He just turned 18 and he’s beating everyone up. Everytime he’s on the pitch, he’s moving forward.
“With the mass he has and the explosiveness he gets from his father, I think he can hurt a lot of guys.”
Posolo is the next in line of the rugby dynasty, following in the footsteps of his father Henry and uncles Freddie, Alesana, Vavae and England International Manu Tuilagi. He also follows his cousins Freddy and Brian Tuilagi – sons of Lauaki Fred.
The youngster oringally played number 8 but had successfully switched to the second-row for his club. France has named him as the starting lock for the England clash.
Tuilagi debuts in a crucial match for France who are still in the running to win the U20 Six Nations Championship with two wins out of three so far.
France snatched a 28-27 win against Italy in the first round before they fell to a 33-31 defeat to Ireland in rund two. They then bounced back to claim a solid 54-12 win over Scotland.
France: 15 Mathis Ferté, 14 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 13 Nicolas Depoortere, 12 Emilien Gailleton (c), 11 Leo Drouet, 10 Hugo Reus, 9 Baptiste Jauneau, 8 Marko Gazzotti, 7 Esteban Capilla, 6 Oscar Jegou, 5 Posolo Tuilagi, 4 Lenni Nouchi, 3 Zaccharie Affane, 2 Pierre Jouvin, 1 Louis Penverne
Impacts: 16 Thomas Lacombre, 17 Luca Tabarot, 18 Lino Julien, 19 Cyriac Guilly, 20 Brent Liufau, 21 Mathis Castro Ferreira, 22 Leo Carbonneau, 23 Paul Costes
England: 15 Sam Harris, 14 Tobias Elliott, 13 Joe Jenkins, 12 Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, 11 Josh Hathaway, 10 Monty Bradbury, 9 Charlie Bracken, 8 Greg Fisilau, 7 Tristan Woodman, 6 Finn Carnduff, 5 Lewis Chessum, 4 Robert Carmichael, 3 Tim Hoyt, 2 Finn Theobald-Thomas, 1 Archie McArthur
Impacts: 16 Calum Scott, 17 Asher Opoku-Fordjour, 18 Afolabi Fasogbon, 19 Harry Browne, 20 Joshua Manz, 21 Nye Thomas, 22 Benjamin Waghorn, 23 Cassius Cleaves
Date: Friday, March 10 = Venue: Recreation Ground = Kick-off: 20:00 GMT.