Taniela “Tongan Thor” Tupou has signed with the Queensland Reds until 2018.
The 135kg, 19-year-old prop is yet to play a Super Rugby match but showed promise in schoolboys rugby.
Tupou originally signed with the Reds for the 2015 season and has been training with the Reds while playing club rugby for Brothers in Brisbane.
The teen made his NRC debut for Queensland Country, where he crossed for some spectacular tries.
Tupou’s signing and development will be important for the Reds, with veteran prop Greg Holmes set to head to Exeter.
Queensland Reds general manager Daniel Herbert said the emerging talent had impressed the club so far.
“Taniela has impressed everyone, not only with his athletic ability, but with his enthusiasm to learn and improve,” he said.
“We look forward to continuing his development to reach his Rugby potential and we are excited by the contributions he will make to our team and the Reds environment over the next three years.”
Tupou said he was prepared for the challenge of cracking Queensland’s Super Rugby team.
“I’m very happy to be at the Reds until 2018. I just love this place,” he said.
“When I came here from school I didn’t realise how hard it would be to play Super Rugby, but I’ve learnt a lot in the last year and I know I have to keep working hard to get a chance to play for the Reds.
“I just want to keep learning and hopefully I will get my opportunity to play Super Rugby for the Reds soon.”