Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
Position Lock
Date of birth 19 September 1996
Height 198cm
Weight 123kg
Debut 2017 v South Africa, Bloemfontein
Caps 11

Biography

A dominant and dynamic lock/backrower, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto has enjoyed a remarkable first few years in rugby. Salakaia-Loto switched to the sport in 2014, as a 17-year-old, following a junior representative career in rugby league for New South Wales. Salakaia-Loto made an immediate impact on his new code, selected to represent the Australian U20s at both the 2015 and 2016 Junior World Championships. He was rewarded for a breakout season with the Queensland Reds in 2017, where he was a preferred lock selection ahead of Wallabies Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas, with a Test debut against South Africa in Bloemfontein. Salakaia-Loto played opening seven Tests of 2018 before he made the decision to withdraw from Wallabies duty in order to care for his mother and siblings following the passing of his stepfather James. Salakaia-Loto also legally changed his name from Lukhan Lealaiauloto-Tui to honour his late stepfather.

HIGHLIGHTS

2015

Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the Junior World Championship tournament in Italy.

2016

Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the Junior World Championship tournament in England.

2017

Salakaia-Loto won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Adam Coleman in the 27-27, 2nd Test draw with South Africa in Bloemfontein. Salakaia-Loto went on to produce a strong running, near-40 minute cameo in the 3rd Test, 23-19 win over New Zealand in Brisbane. A hamstring injury picked up in the uncapped match against the Barbarians in Sydney curtailed his opportunities on the Spring Tour however he ended his debut season with a fourth cap in the loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.

2018

He picked up a total of seven caps for the year with the first two coming off the bench against Ireland in Brisbane and Melbourne before he moved into the starting side at No.6 for the third Test of that series. Salakaia-Loto remained in the run-on XV for the first two internationals against New Zealand as well as the two home Tests against South Africa and then Argentina.

The Rugby Championship 2020 season