Full name Rodney So'oialo
Born October 3, 1979, Moto'otua, Western Samoa
Current age 36 years 296 days
Major teams Barbarians, Classic All Blacks, Hurricanes, Wellington, New Zealand
Height 6 ft 3 in
Weight 240 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2003-2007||8||5||3||15||3||0||0||0||7||1||0||87.50|
|The Rugby Championship||2003-2009||25||22||3||0||0||0||0||0||18||7||0||72.00|
|Test debut||Wales v New Zealand at Millennium Stadium, Nov 23, 2002 match details|
|Last Test||Italy v New Zealand at Milan, Nov 14, 2009 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Rodney So'oialo kicked off the 2008 Tri Nations Championship as captain of the All Blacks in the absence of the injured Richard McCaw; a fine achievement for a Samoa-born back-row forward who has fought off occasional doubters to be a regular pick for New Zealand since his debut in 2002.
So'oialo was selected in McCaw's No. 7 jersey for that captaincy debut against South Africa, but is more ordinarily found at the back of the scrum. He was the 61st man to lead the All Blacks, and it was his 45th cap. He was a full-back for Wellington Secondary Schools as a fifth-former before moving into the forwards the following year and on to Wellington age-grade representation. His older brother Steven has appeared for Samoa and the Pacific Islanders at scrum-half and played for Orrell and Harlequins.
In 2001, Rodney So'oialo played in the winning New Zealand team at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Argentina. The following year he had more Sevens success with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. He made his debut for the All Blacks in November 2002, at No. 8 in a 43-17 win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
In June 2003 So'oialo - a former NZ Under-21 cap - started at No. 8 against England in Wellington, famously contributing to his side's downfall with an unsuccessful drive for the line when the visitors were two men short at the scrum. He played as a replacement the following month against South Africa and made four appearances (including two from the bench) later in the year at the World Cup in Australia.
So'oialo's explosive pace from No. 8 suited the All Blacks' free-running style under head coach Graham Henry, and after two caps in tour in 2004 he featured in 11 out of 12 Tests in 2005, including a start at No. 7 in the third Test against the British & Irish Lions.
So'oialo has more than 50 provincial appearances for Wellington to his name since his debut in 2000 and in the Super 14 he was the captain of the Hurricanes through the 2006 season which culminated in the fog-bound final defeat by McCaw's Crusaders. Scrum staff (October 2008)