Born: 29 January, 1980 – Wellington
Test record: 2 Tests (2011) – 1 try (4 points)
Tours: 2011 Four Nations tour
An exciting, athletic winger responsible for some of the NRL era’s most notable gravity-defying tries, Kalifa Faifai Loa broke into the New Zealand Test side in 2011 after a breakout season with North Queensland Cowboys.
Wellington-born Faifai Loa was a Marist Saints (Auckland) junior, before heading across the Tasman and scoring 35 tries in 55 NYC games for Newcastle Knights and St George Illawarra Dragons. He made his NRL debut in 2010 for the latter ahead of a move to the Cowboys.
The crowd-pleasing 21-year-old scored 10 tries in 22 games for the Cowboys to earn a spot in the Kiwis’ 2011 Four Nations squad. Faifai Loa made his Test bow in a 42-6 pre-tournament loss to Australia in Newcastle and scored a try against the Kangaroos two weeks later in Warrington, which would be his last appearance in the black-and-white jersey.
Faifai Loa struggled to hold down a permanent first-grade spot with the Cowboys over the following two seasons and during subsequent stints with Gold Coast Titans (2014-15) and back at the Dragons (2016-17), finishing with 33 tries from 66 NRL games.
From 2018 Faifai Loa began a lengthy stay with Queensland Cup club Townsville Blackhawks.