Born: 23 January, 1995 – Auckland
Test record: 1 Test (2015) – 0 points
Tours: 2015 tour of England
Gifted Warriors utility-back Tuimoala Lolohea played only one Test for New Zealand as a 20-year-old rookie in 2015, but he later played an integral role in Mate Ma’a Tonga’s rise to international rugby league prominence after joining Wests Tigers and then heading to Super League.
Born in Auckland and a product of the Marist Saints club, Lolohea exploded in 2013 as the linchpin of the Warriors’ drive to another NYC Under-20s grand final, scoring 22 tries and 134 points. The Warriors lost to Penrith in the decider.
Lolohea represented Junior Kiwis at the end of 2013, before graduating to NSW Cup and playing three late-season NRL games the following season. He also helped the NYC line-up to a grand final victory over Brisbane from five-eighth.
The tyro became a permanent member of the Warriors’ top-grade line-up in 2015, missing just one game, scoring 11 tries and making starts at fullback, centre, wing and – following Shaun Johnson’s season-ending injury – halfback.
Lolohea debuted for Tonga against Samoa during the 2015 representative weekend but was selected for New Zealand’s tour to England at the end of the year. He played his sole match for the Kiwis in the No.7 jersey in the 26-12 series-opening loss.
A strong, elusive ball-runner and talented playmaker, Lolohea flitted around the Warriors’ team sheet throughout 2016 – a victim of his remarkable versatility to an extent – and fell out of favour under former Kiwis Test coach Stephen Kearney in 2017.
Lolohea joined the Tigers midway through 2017 and was electric at five-eighth in Tonga’s watershed run to the World Cup semis at the end of the year, including a starring role in the historic pool upset of New Zealand in Hamilton.
He played further high-profile Tests for Tonga against the Kangaroos in 2018 and the Kiwis in 2019, moving to Super League in the latter season with Leeds Rhinos and then Salford. Lolohea, a half or fullback in England, linked with Huddersfield in 2022 and featured in another World Cup campaign for Mate Ma’a Tonga, this time at halfback.