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Alesana Tuilagi
Alesana Tuilagi 2011.jpg
South Africa vs Samoa at 2011 Rugby World Cup
Birth name Alesana Tuilagi
Date of birth (1981-02-24) 24 February 1981 (age 42)
Place of birth Fogapoa, Samoa
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 124 kg (273 lb; 19 st 7 lb)
School John Cleveland College
Notable relative(s) Anitelea, Freddie, Henry, Sanele Vavae & Manu (brothers)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Leicester Tigers
NTT Communications Shining Arcs
Newcastle Falcons
RC Toulonnais
Correct as of 2 November 2018
Current local club RC Toulonnais
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2002–13, 2015-
Pacific Islanders
Correct as of 3 October 2015

Alesana "Alex" Tuilagi (born 24 February 1981) is a former Samoan rugby player. He is a retired footballer, currently residing in Fogapoa Savaii and has appeared numerous times for his national team Samoa. He previously played for Parma in Italy and for Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership and more recently Newcastle Falcons. As an incredibly strong player, Tuilagi uses his blend of pace and power to good effect, proving a nightmare for many defences. Such a combination of speed and strength makes him very difficult for defences to handle.


The Tuilagi family has strong connections with Leicester Tigers; Alesana's brothers Henry, Anitelea (Andy), and Fereti (Freddie) are all former players and two younger brothers, Vavae and Manu Tuilagi both played in a game for Leicester Tigers against the Classic All Blacks, on 25 May 2008.

Whilst at Parma, whom Tuilagi played with for two seasons, he was equal second top try scorer of the league for the 2003–04 season, with 12 tries in total for the season. He helped them get to the semi-finals of both the domestic competition, and the Parker Pen Shield. He made his debut for Samoa in a 2003 Rugby World Cup qualifier against Fiji in June 2002. In 2004 Tuilagi's illegal tackle on Mark Cueto began a scuffle that led to the yellow carding of Semo Sititi, and red cards for Tuilagi and, Tigers team mate, Lewis Moody who became the first England player to be sent off at Twickenham.

Tuilagi was included in the Pacific Islanders rugby union team tour to Europe in late 2006 and played a significant part in the Samoan national teams' successes in the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

Tuilagi enjoyed his best-ever season in 2010/11, finishing the season as the club's top try-scorer and as Aviva Premiership top scorer for the first time. The big Samoan collected 17 tries in all competitions, with 13 in the Premiership, including the match-winner in the semi-final against Northampton Saints and a hat-trick against Gloucester at Welford Road.

Playing alongside younger brother Manu, Alesana lined up against older sibling Henry during the Heineken Cup in 2010/11 and has also played against Anitelea in the Premiership. Tuilagi has started eight of Tigers' nine finals since 2006/07, missing out only on the Guinness Premiership Final against London Irish in 2009 due to suspension. He was Man of the Match in the 2006/07 Premiership Final win over Gloucester, scoring two tries, and started the 2010 final when Leicester defeated Saracens. He was also named Supporters' Player of the Year in same season.

Tuilagi was again included in Samoa's squad to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. He started in all 4 pool games and scored a hat trick against Namibia. After the eight years with Leicester, Tuilagi left following the 2011–12 Aviva Premiership season to join NTT Communications Shining Arcs of the Japanese Top League. On 8 May 2014, Tuilagi returned to England to compete in the Aviva Premiership with Newcastle Falcons on a two-year contract, rejoining with his brother Anitelea Tuilagi.

Samoa vs Namibia 2011 RWC (1)
Tuilagi making a break for Samoa vs Namibia in the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Historic win

Tuilagi was part of the Samoan squad that beat Australia 32 – 23 on 17 July 2011 at Sydney in a test match. Tuilagi made the opening try as Samoa ran in 4 tries to Australia's two.

On 25 June 2013 Tuilagi was called up to the Samoan squad for the SA tour and the 2013 Pacific Cup

Personal life

Tuilagi has five brothers Henry, Anitelea (Andy), Fereti (Freddie), Vavae and Manu Tuilagi who are all rugby players. He and Manu are both Catholic.

Tuilagi was arrested on 26 August 2014 in Dublin after presenting himself at Dublin Airport. A European arrest warrant had been issued relating to an assault in a Dublin night club a number of years previously.

Alesana Tuilagi
Alesana Tuilagi playing for Samoa in the 2007 Rugby World Cup against South Africa
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