A long-time fixture in the Samoa test team, Lio Falaniko made his international debut in 1991. Despite missing that year’s World Cup through injury he was a regular for the Samoans throughout the 1990s, playing in both the 1995 and 1999 World Cups – scoring a memorable try against Wales in Samoa’s 38-31 win at the then all-new Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Ranging lock Falaniko joined the Hurricanes for one season in 1999 from the Highlanders, where he had played 24 super 12 games between 1996-1998. Falaniko was used alongside Dion Waller, Mark Cooksley and Inoke Afeaki in the locking role for the Hurricanes, winning five caps, and making four starts against the Cats, Sharks, Blues, and finally his old team the Highlanders.
Vastly experienced at provincial level, Falaniko played a number of times for Otago, spent a season with Southland prior to his Super 12 stint in Wellington and also for North Harbour in 1999. Additionally Falaniko was an international volleyball representative and spent several years as a Les Mills Gyms fitness trainer. He took his personal trainer expertise to Perth, where he now resides and also coaches at club level.