Seattle Seawolves Adds Tani Tupou

The Seattle Seawolves re-signed the former University of Washington and NFL defensive tackle, Taniela Tupou, for the remainder of the 2023 MLR season. The 30-year-old prop is 6’2, and 284 lbs. The crossover athlete joined the Seawolves in 2022 played in 12 matches and then played football in the XFL for the St. Lewis Battlehawks in 2023. He played rugby with the American Raptors prior to joining the Seawolves.

Taniela is from Marysville, Washington, and played football for Archbishop Murphy before committing to the University of Washington. The defensive lineman played 33 games for the Huskies, made 59 tackles, and served as a game captain in 2015. He was the recipient of the 108th annual Guy Flaherty Award in 2015, the Washington football program’s oldest award, which was awarded to UW’s most inspirational player by a vote of the players.

In May 2016, the Seattle Seahawks signed Tupou as a fullback / defensive tackle option after a successful showing at rookie minicamp. He was released by the Seahawks in September after contributing to the Hawks’ season opener victory and focused on The Spring League getting an invitation to the Atlanta Falcons minicamp. He spent the 2017 season on-and-off member of their practice squad before the Falcons waived him in April 2018.

He signed a short-term contract with the Arizona Cardinals before playing for the Alliance of American Football’s San Diego Fleet until AAF ceased their operations. He returned to Washington State, and he was drafted by the XFL Seattle Dragons in the seventh round. The XFL then was forced to cease its operations n April 2020 due to the global pandemic.

The American Raptors invited him to Glendale, Colorado to pursue rugby. He learned quickly and became the Raptors team captain and played in the XV Series. He was also on the Raptors tour to Uruguay in Fall 2021. He will continue to build his rugby skills under the Seawolves coaching staff in preparation of making his Major League Rugby debut in the coming weeks.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant