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Tupou's deja vu as Wallabies prepare for Scotland challenge

Wed, 03/11/2021, 2:05 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies lock Will Skelton and prop Taniela Tupou have spoken to media from Edinburgh.

Same hotel, same floor, same room.

On Taniela Tupou's return to Edinburgh, he only has to look at his hotel room for Wallaby debut memories to flood back.

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Tupou burst onto the scene in 2017, eventually earning his spot on the bench for the final match of the Spring Tour against Scotland at Murrayfield.

He was thrust into the action earlier than expected, coming on for Sekope Kepu after the Waratah prop was sent off for a no-arms cleanout on flanker Hamish Watson.

Having lost the game 53-24 after a second half blitz, Tupou was out to make better memories as the Wallabies look to extend their excellent run of form.

“It’s funny how things can work but I’m happy to be back and hopefully, can play this week," he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I haven’t watched the (debut) game since I played it but it wasn’t the best games hopefully we can change that around.”

Having originally toured as an extended squad member in 2016, Tupou has stepped up as one of the leaders of the pack five years later, something he was looking to embrace as they look to finish the year on a high.

“I think I’ve enjoyed this tour a lot better (than 2016 and 2017),” he believes.

“I’m a lot older. I’m not the 18-year-old kid just trying to make the team. I keep being myself around the boys and offer a lot, not just being around here wondering if you are going to play.

“It’s a lot different coming this time but I’m really looking forward to it.”

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The powerhouse prop is joined by some imposing figures in Will Skelton, Rory Arnold and Tolu Latu, who joined the camp at the start of the week.

With Tupou's blossoming career flourishing as the likes of Skelton got settled into European life, the 25-year-old was excited by the potential to play alongside some of the best in the world.

“I never really got to play with Will (Skelton), just imagine having him behind me or Allan (Alaalatoa), any of the tight-heads is exciting as a prop, it’s the dream,” he added.

“You just need good shape and then Will will do the rest so looking forward to it."

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