Planet Rugby's scouts headed over to Newlands to watch New Zealand's number eight at the Junior World Championship.
Planet Rugby's scouts headed over to Newlands Stadium to watch New Zealand's number eight at the Junior World Championship.
Who is he?
Jordan Taufua started four of New Zealand's five games at the 2012 Junior World Championship at number eight and came off the bench against Fiji. He plays for Canterbury back home.
Taufua scored a brilliant try against Wales in the semi-finals, diving over the in corner while managing to avoid both the touchline and a handful of Welsh defenders.
The guy is tank. He doesn't have a massive upper body but from the waist to the knees he is all muscle. His thighs look like tree trunks!
Standing 182cm (6'0″), Taufua isn't a giant by modern rugby standers but he does weigh a very solid 105kg (232lbs), which is pretty impressive for a 20-year-old.
From a distance you would swear you were looking at Victor Vito – even young Taufua's style of play is reminiscent of the Hurricanes and All Black number eight.
Attack, defence, work rate:
Taufua was one of New Zealand's standout players throughout the tournament and we were particularly impressed with his ball carrying against Wales in the semi-finals. He also put in some monster hits and seemed to infatigable in getting to rucks.
In the final against South Africa, when the Kiwi pack was generally coming off second best, we counted at least five occasion when Taufua bust over the advantage line with ball in hand.
Before the JWC Final:
“Last game in the Black Jersey against the Springboks in under 24hrs. It has been an amazing journey and now we go hunting together for the last time. Putting on that no.8 jersey and let it be a good one! Watch out South Africa you have yet to see Taufua unleash! See you on the field!” he wrote on his Facebook profile.
After the JWC Final:
“Congratulations on the win South Africa you guys put it all out there and it was an 80min game.. no regrets!!.. Thank you to all the supporters, family and friends. You guys were are big part of our campaign so thank you!.. Taufua will be back.”
This kid has a bright future. By their own unmatchable standards, this wasn't the best side Kiwi U20 side ever to take the field, but Taufua was clearly one of the stars of the future.
Surely it won't be long before he becomes a regular at ITM Cup level and in a year or two, Super Rugby beckons.