Despite a series of injury setbacks in recent years, Tatafu Polota-Nau continues to add to his rich rugby resume as a popular and key member of the Waratahs and Wallabies.
He is the second highest capped player within the current squad, behind Benn Robinson, and remains the fourth most capped NSW player and most capped Waratahs hooker of all time.
A student at Granville High School, it may come as a surprise that Tatafu was a late-comer to the game of rugby. But just two years into his game he was named as captain of the Australian Schoolboys. His rugby career skyrocketed as he went on to represent Australia again as a member of the national Under 19s and Under 21s in 2004 and 2005.
With Tongan heritage running through his blood, the hardy hooker was awarded the IRB Under 21s Player of the Year in 2005, the same year he made his international debut for the Wallabies, which came before his introduction to Super Rugby.
In what was an impressive opening year for Polota-Nau he also made his provincial debut in 2005, before his first official Super Rugby appearance soon after in 2006 against the Queensland Reds.
A passionate and committed member of the Parramatta ‘Two Blues’ Club as a player and active Board Member, Tatafu’s work as the face of rugby in Western Sydney was recognised in 2011 when he was named as Parramatta Sports Person of the Year, for his work at Parramatta Rugby and his contribution as an ambassador for sport in the greater western area of Sydney.
It was the same year he was announced as part of the Australian squad for his maiden Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Renowned for his unrelenting ability to give it his all, Tatafu was once again included in the squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign, adding extra vigour to the Wallabies’ successful campaign.
Tatafu’s achievements off the field are just as impressive, with an Advanced Diploma in Business, his MBA on its way and an ability to speak Tongan, Japanese and Spanish.