Taniela Tupou's humble response after outmuscling Georgia
Touted by coach Eddie Jones as the future No.1 prop in the world, Tupou showed off his array of skills.
He dominated the strong Georgian scrum and demonstrated the incredible athleticism for which he’s renowned despite his 135kg frame.
Tupou was gifted a loose Georgian pass and took off downfield at Stade de France before throwing a long ball for fullback Ben Donaldson to score.
“I thought I had it,” Tupou said.
“I was hoping I was 10 metres ahead and I think if I dummied and kept going I would have had it.
“I am just as happy that I set up someone else. I was hoping he scored because I was tired.”
The 27-year-old said he and the entire Wallabies outfit could take their game to another level when they faced Fiji in their next pool match in Saint-Etienne next Monday (AEST).
“My body is 100 per cent, my lungs are not,” Tupou said.
“I feel good. A few more games and the body will adjust. It’s so hot out there, man.
“To be honest, I came into this game very nervous. I thought we did well against France last week and the expectation was to do well against Georgia.
“Everybody wants to win but with the young team we have, we are trying to put together a winning combination while the players are getting used to each other.”
Asked about his coach’s belief that he could be the world’s best, Tupou said he initially wasn’t even sure Jones would want him at the World Cup.
He ruptured his achilles playing Ireland last year and was in a race against time to make the tournament.
“I don’t know how to take those compliments to be honest,” Tupou said.
“I’ll just keep my head down and keep working hard, and hopefully, I’ll end up there one day. There’s so many in front of me.
“I didn’t know anything about Eddie and I was real nervous, scared – I don’t know what he’s like and whether I was his type of player.
“All I had to do was keep working hard and hopefully come back in and earn my spot in the team. I was lucky he saw something in me.”
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