Martin Taupau, Brisbane Broncos, NRL preseason 2023, signings
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Martin Taupau who officially started his time with the Brisbane Broncos yesterday.
After returning to Australia following Samoa’s breakthrough performance at last year’s Rugby League World Cup, Taupau went unsigned by an NRL club despite plenty of interest in his services – but only recently put pen to paper with the Broncos where he was signed on a one year agreement.
The 32-year-old, who played 222 NRL games from his time with Canterbury Bulldogs, Wests Tigers and more recently seven seasons with the Sea Eagles, brings experience and aggression to the young Broncos pack.
“We weighed every pros and cons, but we believe the Broncos were a good fit and obviously to come here, it’s just a great feeling, (I’ve been) welcomed with open arms,” Taupau told assembled media said of his move to Queensland following the club’s Tuesday morning training session at Red Hill.
“Everything is professional way out and big here, so it’s been amazing from the players and the staff, top to bottom, it’s been an absolutely incredible experience. And for me personally, I just need to lace up the boots and get to work. Round 1 is of course just around the corner.”
Taupau said he was ‘technically unemployed’ for a few months before moving to the Broncos, and said he leaned on his friends and family during that period of uncertainty, with his wife Michelle taking on a new ‘job’ has to make sure he’d be fit and shining when he joins a new NRL club.
“I’ve had to tie the boots, give the whistle to my wife and she’s been my S&C, so she’s definitely cracked the whip over the last few months, and I believe that’s helped tremendously, as well as the honest discussions of the pros and cons of life, both off and on the field,” said Taupau.
“And I think everything happens for a reason, and that’s the path I’m on right now and I just have to take advantage of every opportunity.”
Martin Taupau in action for Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup Final. ©Getty Images
Announcing his signing, Brisbane coach Kevin Walters said he was counting on Taupau to help the club’s forwards, in particular, “grow and be better players”, a task the 33-Test veteran for New -Zealand and Samoa said he was looking forward to tackling. .
“The great thing about our playing group is that they are just eager to learn and very open; they ask the honest questions and of course with my experience in the game I’m happy to share that,” said Taupau.
“With the leadership; there are some growing leaders on this great team, and certainly some who have really cemented their place here.
“It’s a great ecosystem here, I’m just very proud and honored to be a part of this playing group.
“I don’t want to single anyone out, but Payne Haas, young Thomas Flegler, (Adam) Reynolds, Patty Carrigan, honestly, these are born leaders.
“I played with a few of these players last year as well as on the international stage and it’s just phenomenal to pull on the jersey and have the opportunity to play with them.”