Being chosen as Leinster’s Players Player of the Year in early May last year was another accolade for Ben Te’o, a New Zealander of Samoan extraction who qualifies for England through his mother and also by joining Worcester Warriors for 2016/17. Ben made his debut off the bench against South Africa at Twickenham last November and also played against Fiji and Australia in the weeks that followed. His first Test try came on his RBS 6 Nations Championship debut only 98 seconds after he had taken the field against France this February as a replacement for George Ford. Ben’s initial start and second try followed in the Italy match three weeks later.
He had a traumatic start for Leinster when sustaining a broken arm 19 minutes into his debut in the 33-18 win over Edinburgh in August 2014, less than a month after winning the National Rugby League Premiership with South Sydney Rabbitohs.
A second row forward in the 13-side game, he moved to centre after his switch of codes and went on to play 36 times for the Irish province where he honed his skills alongside Ireland regulars Rob Kearney and Jonathan Sexton before being recruited by the Warriors.
Auckland-born Ben, who has also played for the West Tigers and Brisbane Broncos in Australia, had reached a career milestone when making his 150th NRL appearance. He also marked his senior international RL debut for Samoa with two tries against France in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. He played league for a decade in Australia after going there as a 17-year-old and his next rugby adventure began with his Aviva Premiership debut for the Warriors against Saracens in September and a maiden try against Gloucester in his second match. He made ten appearances in the competition and scored three tries last season before his impressive debut for the British & Irish Lions against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians at Whangarei in the opening match of the tour. Three weeks later, he played in the first Test against the All Blacks at Auckland.
10 points - 2T
2016 SA(R) Fj(R), A(R) 2017 F(R), W(R), It, S(R), I(R)
Lions: 2017 NZ(1)
Last updated: 25 June 2017