Ita Vaea

9th Jan 1989 1.87m/119kg Openside Flanker

A born No 8, Jake White experimented with Vaea during 2012, moving the hulking Tongan from the back of the scrum to both blind and open-side flanker.

Raised in Tonga but schooled at New Zealand’s Nelson College, Vaea was originally under the watchful eye of Crusaders development staff before moving to Brisbane to be close to his family.

After being ruled ineligible to represent the New Zealand Schoolboys because of his Tongan heritage, Vaea went back to Tonga to play for their Under 20’s side which competed at the Junior World Cup in Japan in 2009. It was the second time Vaea had been picked to represent his country after being named in an under 15’s side in 2005.

One of the most feared ball carriers in the competition, Vaea made his debut, and his presence felt, against the Sharks in Canberra in a 2011 Super Rugby match, running over the top of Bismarck Du Plessis after a powerful fend to the champion hooker’s sternum. It was a textbook Vaea play and one that bought the entire crowd at Canberra Stadium to its feet.

To great disappointment, Vaea was ruled out of the entire 2013 and 2014 Super Rugby season after a blood clot was discovered on his heart.

He made an incredible come back in 2015 and was even called up to the Wallbies training camp. He's hopes of a long career were however dashed as ongoing heart problems forced him to retire in April 2016.

Apr 2016


image NSW Country Eagles
Blindside Flanker
2014 - 2015
brumbies ACT Brumbies
Openside Flanker
2011 - 2016
Canberra_Vikings_logo_page_image Canberra Vikings
Blindside Flanker
2015 - 2016