Roman Salanoa rugby player
Roman Salanoa rugby player

Roman Salanoa

28th Oct 1997 1.80m/128kg Tighthead Prop

Roman Salanoa, born on October 28, 1997, is an American-born, Irish-qualified rugby union player currently playing as a prop for the Munster province in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Salanoa was born in Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and has Samoan ancestry. He initially gained recognition for his athletic prowess in American football, attending Kahuku High & Intermediate School, where he contributed to the school's state championship victory in 2015, earning an All-State selection as a defensive linesman.

During his final year of high school, Salanoa discovered rugby union and joined the Kahuku High team. He played a crucial role in helping the team secure another state championship in rugby, further showcasing his abilities. Despite his limited experience in the sport, Salanoa's talent was evident, and he was selected for the United States national under-20 rugby union team for the 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Trophy, where the team achieved a fifth-place finish.

Following his standout performances with the U.S. under-20s team, Salanoa received an opportunity to trial with Irish provincial team Leinster in late 2016. Impressing during the trial, he joined Leinster's sub-academy in September 2017 and also became a member of Dublin-based club Old Belvedere, initially playing for their under-20s team.

Salanoa's progress continued as he moved up to Old Belvedere's senior side, competing in Division 1B of the All-Ireland League. He also represented Leinster A in the 2018 Cara Cup, a tournament held in the United States featuring Major League Rugby side New England Free Jacks and the 'A' teams from the four Irish provincial clubs.

In August 2019, Salanoa made his non-competitive debut for Leinster as a replacement in a friendly match against Coventry, and later that season, he made his senior competitive debut as a replacement in a Pro14 match against Ulster.

Ahead of the 2020–21 season, Salanoa made the move from Leinster to Munster, signing a two-year contract with the province. He made his competitive debut for Munster in a Pro14 match against Edinburgh in October 2020, contributing to a 25–23 victory. Salanoa scored his first try for Munster in a Pro14 match against Benetton in March 2021. He also made his Champions Cup debut for Munster in a win against Wasps.

In January 2022, Salanoa extended his contract with Munster for an additional three years, solidifying his commitment to the team. He has continued to make significant contributions to the team's success, including featuring in historic victories against a South Africa XV and the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship.

Salanoa's performances and potential have also earned him recognition on the international stage. He was selected for the Emerging Ireland squad that participated in the Toyota Challenge in South Africa, facing Currie Cup teams. He made appearances as a replacement and a starter in the matches against Griquas, Pumas, and Cheetahs.

In November 2022, Salanoa was included in the Ireland A panel to face an All Blacks XV, providing further testament to his growing reputation. He also provided injury cover for the senior Ireland squad during the 2023 Six Nations Championship.

Roman Salanoa's journey from Hawaii to Irish rugby showcases his determination, adaptability, and natural talent. As a powerful front-rower, he continues to make strides in his career, demonstrating his potential to become a key player for Munster and potentially the Irish national team.



munster Munster Rugby
Tighthead Prop
2020 - present
image Emerging Ireland
Tighthead Prop
2022 - present
leinster (1) Leinster Rugby
Tighthead Prop
2019 - 2020
ireland Ireland
Tighthead Prop
2023 - 2023