|Full name||Sa Jordan Taufua|
|Date of birth||29 January 1992|
|Place of birth||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||105 kg (231 lb; 16 st 7 lb)|
Sacred Heart College
|Rugby union career|
Sa Jordan Taufua (born 29 January 1992) is a New Zealand rugby union player who plays as a loose forward for Leicester Tigers in Premiership Rugby, the top tier of English rugby union. He previously played for Tasman in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Crusaders in the international Super Rugby competition.
Born in Otahuhu, in the Auckland suburbs, Taufua was educated at Alfriston College before completing his schooling at Sacred Heart College in the city of Auckland. After finishing high school, he moved south to Christchurch to attend Lincoln University and while there he played local club rugby for them.
Taufua's senior rugby career began in 2012 when he was loaned to the Tasman Mako by Canterbury before the season's commencement. He displayed fine form in his first year of provincial rugby, playing all 10 of the Mako regular season Championship games before being controversially recalled by Canterbury ahead of the competition's play off phase. Taufua played as a replacement in Canterbury's victories over Taranaki and Auckland which saw them crowned ITM Cup Premiership champions while things didn't work out quite as well for Tasman who went down to Otago in their Championship play-off semi-final match.
A full Canterbury squad member in 2013, he was an ever-present as the men from Christchurch retained their ITM Cup Premiership crown, finishing second in the round-robin stage but going on to defeat Wellington 29-13 in the final.
He moved back north in 2014 to play for the Pukekohe-based Counties Manukau Steelers and started every game in his first season for them as they finished in 5th place on the Premiership log, just outside the play-off places. The Steelers were once again agonisingly close to making the play-offs in 2015 but ended up in 5th spot once more with Taufua contributing 3 tries in 9 matches before bagging a career high 6 tries in one season as he was again an ever-present in the Counties side which finally did make the Mitre 10 Cup play-offs in 2016 before they went down to his former side and eventual champions, Canterbury.
An excellent debut season for Tasman and Canterbury in provincial rugby brought him to the attention of Christchurch-based Super Rugby franchise, the Crusaders who named him in their squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season. Aged just 21 and surrounded by experienced loose forwards such as Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Matt Todd as well as George and Luke Whitelock it was largely a season of learning for the young Taufua who made just 5 substitute appearances throughout the year. A season spent learning from experience pros proved to be beneficial for him as he became much more of a regular the following year, playing 14 times as the 'Saders finished as the competition's runner-up, losing narrowly 33-32 to the Waratahs in the final in Sydney.
He was firmly established as a starting member in the Crusaders line up in 2015, playing in all 16 of their games during a season which ended with them in a disappointing 7th place in the overall standings, just outside the play-off positions. They bounced back in 2016 and reached the quarter-finals before bowing out with a 42-25 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg, Taufua played in 15 of their 16 games and helped himself to an impressive 4 tries.
In May 2016, it was announced that Taufua had extended his contract with the Crusaders and would stay with them until at least the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season. Taufua re-signed with the Crusaders for one more season (2019) in March 2018.
Although born in New Zealand, Taufua opted to represent the land of his ancestors, Samoa at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy before switching his allegiance back to New Zealand in 2012, playing 5 times for them in their run to the tournament final where they went down 22-16 to hosts South Africa in Cape Town.
In June 2015, Taufua was part of a World XV side which lost 46-10 to South Africa in Cape Town, he played the whole game in the number 6 shirt. The following year at Wembley Stadium, on 5 November 2016 he faced the same opposition, but this time in a Barbarians jersey. He was selected as the starting openside flanker in a game which ended up as a 31-31 draw and was replaced by Ruan Ackermann in the 75th minute of the match.