Steven Luatua, born on April 29, 1991, is a New Zealand rugby union player known for his versatility as a lock or loose forward. He currently plays for the Bristol Bears in the English Premiership.
Luatua had an impressive start to his career, representing the New Zealand under 20 team that won the IRB Junior World Championship in both 2010 and 2011. His performances caught the attention of selectors, leading to his inclusion in the initial All Blacks wider training squad in 2013 after a strong start to the Super Rugby season.
On June 22, 2013, Luatua made his debut for the All Blacks, coming off the bench in a victory against France. He continued to feature in international matches, earning a place in the All Blacks' squad for the 2013 Rugby Championship and playing his first full test in a win against Australia in August 2013.
In August 2014, Luatua scored his first international test try against Australia, making a significant impact off the bench and contributing to a 51-20 victory. Despite some struggles with form and injuries, he was re-selected for the All Blacks' end-of-year tour in 2016 and showcased his abilities by starting as number 8 against Italy and scoring a try in a dominant win.
In February 2017, Luatua made the move to the English Premiership side Bristol, joining them for the 2017-18 season. He faced a suspension for a high tackle incident, but throughout the Super Rugby campaign, he demonstrated his excellence on the field, including a game-winning offload against the British and Irish Lions. His last match at Eden Park for the Blues was a memorable one, as he played a crucial role in their victory.
Outside of rugby, Luatua is known for his passion for the New England Patriots in the NFL. He even had the opportunity to cover the NFL playoffs in 2017 for Duke TV. With his extensive experience in representative rugby and over 50 Super Rugby appearances for the Blues, Luatua's move to Bristol Rugby marked a new chapter in his career.
His impact was immediate, as he made 12 appearances for Bristol in the 2018-19 season and contributed 15 points. Luatua's exceptional performances earned him several accolades, including nominations for Premiership player of the season, and he was awarded Player's Player of the Season and Forward of the Year in 2019, solidifying his status as a standout player in the league.
Ahead of the World Rugby Cup 2023, Luatua has been named in the squad for Samoa.
|2023 - present|
|2017 - present|
|2022 - present|
|2013 - 2017|
|2011 - 2017|
No 4 Lock
|2012 - 2017|