Born: 1 April, 1987 – Auckland
Test record: 9 Tests (2009-10) – 8 tries (32 points)
Tours: 2009 Four Nations, 2010 Four Nations
Powerhouse Newcastle centre Junior Sa’u played nine consecutive Tests in a brief but fruitful tenure in the Kiwis line-up.
Auckland-born Sa’u moved to Brisbane as a youngster and come through the junior ranks of famed nursery Logan Brothers. He played lower grades at Canberra Raiders before joining the Knights in 2008 and making an immediate impact following his mid-season call-up.
The 21-year-old scored seven tries in 12 rookie-year appearances, while he played every game as a starting centre as Newcastle reached the 2009 finals – earning post-season Kiwis selection in the process.
Sa’u scored a try on Test debut in a warm-up clash with Tonga in Rotorua and played all three matches of New Zealand’s Four Nations campaign, dotting down in the 20-all draw with Australia in London and the 50-point thrashing of France in Toulouse.
The blockbusting tyro crossed again in the Kiwis’ hard-fought 12-8 Anzac Test loss in Melbourne in 2010, while he dotted down in the 24-10 Four Nations-opening victory over England in Wellington and bagged a hat-trick at Papua New Guinea’s expense in Rotorua.
Sa’u played his last match for New Zealand in the pool loss to Australia at Eden Park, pulling out of the following week’s final – where the Kiwis upset the Kangaroos – after being named to start.
After 86 games for the Knights, Sa’u was snapped up by Melbourne in 2013 but played just four games in the top flight for the defending premiers. He represented Samoa at the World Cup that year before embarking on a long stay in England that took in 142 appearances for Salford and subsequent stints with Wakefield Trinity, Leigh and Keighley.