Oversized halfback Ofisa “Junior” Tonu’u has the distinction of playing test match rugby both for and against the All Blacks. A benefactor of the former loose IRB international transfer regulations, Tonu’u, along with a clutch of other former Hurricanes such as Alama Ieremia and Stephen Bachop, played tests for Samoa in the early 1990s and then switched to play for New Zealand.
Tonu’u’s career for the All Blacks spanned 1996-1998 and five tests, after previously playing five tests for Samoa in 1992-1993, including his international against the All Blacks in Auckland in 1993.
Tonu’u’s season with the Hurricanes in 1999 was a homecoming for the former Poneke and Wellington Lions halfback who had moved to Auckland and the Blues to further his career. Wellington raised and Rongotai College educated, Tonu’u played for the Wellington Lions in 1991-1992, before moving to Auckland where he made the New Zealand XV in 1994 and then the All Blacks two years later.
He was first choice halfback for the Blues from 1996-1998, and was then drafted back home to play for the Hurricanes in 1999, starting in the first five games and then off the bench behind Jason Spice in another four.
In 2000, Tonu’u left New Zealand rugby for London Irish, returning several years later and playing for the Auckland Development Fifteen.
In 2011 and 2012 he was coaching Auckland club rugby.