Rugby Australia officials may need to dig deep into their pockets to prevent Reds star Taniela Tupou playing for an overseas club after next year.
Powerhouse Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou has joked with Rugby Australia to “show me the money” to keep him from continuing his club career overseas following next year’s World Cup.
Despite his love for the Queensland Reds, Tupou is yet to decide where his future will lie beyond the 2023 World Cup in France.
He teased Wallabies coach Dave Rennie about the terms of a long-term contract to ensure he stayed in Australia following the conclusion of his current deal next year.
“Show me the money,” a laughing Tupou said.
“I’m joking – I’m not joking though. Come on Rennie.”
However, Tupou was serious about his fondness for Queensland.
“I’ve loved it. I’m so grateful for the Reds,” he said.
“They trust me … and I gave my all every year.
“I can’t picture being anywhere else.
“I’ve got this year and next year. I’ll do everything I can to help this team win, but we’ll see how we go after that.”
Tonga-born Tupou is also grateful for the organisation of a charity match this month at Suncorp Stadium between a Vintage Reds XV and Tongan Invitational XV.
The game will help raise funds for the battered South Pacific island nation’s recovery effort following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano and tsunami last month.
“My mum’s village is fine, but my dad’s island is gone, nothing there, but it could be worse,” Tupou said.
“It’s so good to see the rugby community helping each other.
“People are willing to help my little island country.
“You grow up with no phone, no nothing, so I’m sure some kids will appreciate some clothes, toys, books.”