Despite being born in Sydney Sekope Kepu’s path to becoming a Wallaby was shaped in New Zealand. Educated at Auckland’s famous Wesley College, the alma mater of All Black great Jonah Lomu, Kepu represented nationally at U17 (as a No.8), U19 and U21 levels. He signed with Counties-Manukau in the National Provincial Championship where his performances caught the eye of Waratah coach and World Cup winning prop Ewen McKenzie. In 2008 Kepu debuted for New South Wales against the Highlanders at Carisbrook and by the end of the season, he had made his Wallabies debut. In 2017, Kepu became the most-capped Wallaby prop ever.
Kepu was selected on the Spring Tour and won his first Test cap off the bench against Italy. Kepu won a second cap against France but his tour ended on a sour note when he tore a pectoral muscle against the Barbarians.
Kepu had to wait until the Spring Tour for his third Test cap, once again off the bench, against Scotland.
A torn calf muscle for the Waratahs against the Brumbies saw Kepu miss the early parts of the Test season. He returned to club rugby with Randwick however he was overlooked for the Spring Tour.
An injury to Waratahs teammate Benn Robinson opened the door for Kepu to return to the national side. He won his first run-on Test cap against Samoa in Sydney and was selected for the next 10 Tests, including Australia’s run to a Rugby World Cup semi-final.
After he played in four of the opening five Tests, Kepu’s season was again interrupted by injury when he suffered a knee injury ahead of the second Test against New Zealand in Auckland. Kepu recovered to play in each of the year’s final five Tests.
Kepu played tighthead prop in all 15 Tests however he only started four of those internationals.
Kepu established himself as first pick in the No. 3 jersey as he was capped in the run-on XV for all 15 Tests. He won his 50th Test cap against France in Paris.
He played in 11 of the season’s 12 Tests, including the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand.
Kepu won 14 caps from a possible 15 Tests after he was rested for the international against France in Paris.
For a second season running Kepu was awarded 14 caps although six were won from the bench. His 87th Test cap, in the third Bledisloe Test, made him the most-capped Wallabies prop ever. In the final Test of the year Kepu became just the fourth Wallaby to be sent from the field after he was dismissed in the 39th minute against Scotland in Edinburgh.
Kepu was capped in 12 of the Wallabies 13 Tests. He started five matches at tight head prop, won two caps as a replacement tight head and picked up a further five caps as a replacement at loose head.