18 October 2020, Apia Samoa. The Samoa Tourism Authority have announced its recruitment of All Black lock and Auckland Blues Captain Sa’u Patrick Tuipulotu as a brand ambassador for Samoa.
“We are very excited to announce today that Patrick Tuipulotu is joining the Samoa Tourism family as a brand ambassador”.
“Patrick is keen to see his culture reflected in rugby including the use of the Samoan language which strengthens his connection to his family and lineage.. We look forward to working with Patrick to help you discover Fa’a Samoa – The Samoan Way. 🇼🇸”
The high chief from Apolima has played 31 tests for the All Blacks since his debut during the 2014 Steinlager Series against England. He went onto play seven Tests that year, including two Tests in the Rugby Championship and three on the Northern Tour.
Sa’u attended St Peter’s College in Auckland and played for the New Zealand Under 20 team at the 2013 Junior World Championship. He also debuted for Auckland’s provincial side and made several appearances in the ITM Cup that year.
The 120kg, 6’6″ giant has been described as a quietly-spoken man who knows what it takes to bounce back from injury.
Sa’u had a double hip surgery in 2015 and then also had his 2016 Super Rugby season disrupted by a hand injury.
Sa’u Patrick Tuipulotu showed character, discipline and perseverance, returning to the All Blacks side in 2016 to play five Tests, and returned in 2017 for the back half of the Investec Rugby Championship and Vista Northern Tour.
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Tuipulotu is known as a quality leader both on and off the field, and in recent times has been the driving force behind the Blues revival in Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020.
Sa’u also hails from Auckland’s Ponsonby club; home to many former Manu Samoa greats such as Coach Tuifaasisina Brian Williams, Captain Papaliitele Peter Fatialofa and Hall of Famer Muliagatele Brian Lima.