Taulupapa To Captain Thunder In 2019

Samoan international Misi Taulupapa will employ his wealth of experience and leadership skills as Newcastle Thunder captain in 2019 as the club chase promotion to the Betfred Championship.

The 36-year-old, who has played over 250 games of rugby league at international and club level, has shown great leadership both on and off the field, impressing head coach Jason Payne.

With erstwhile captain Joe Brown making moves into the club’s coaching panel and bringing his wealth of experience to bear in skill and player development in 2019, along with his continued on-field involvement, Payne has taken the opportunity to add a further leadership voice with Taulupapa.

Having served as the on-field leader at both Sheffield and Featherstone, it is a role that the Samoan is well placed to take on.
Taulupapa said “I was surprised at first as we have a lot of leaders in our team, one being Liam Finn who has got a lot of experience behind him, but I am grateful for this captaincy.

I’ve had previous captaincy roles at both Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone Rovers but it was great to hear from Payney that I have respect from the players and he has picked me.

Even though I can see that I am at the back of my career I’m still just as hungry. I set myself some goals and one them being to help this club achieve promotion to the championship while I’m still playing and loving it up here and so far, I’m over the moon!”

Head coach Jason Payne said: “I would just like to say a huge thank you to Joe who has lead this club with a huge amount of pride and passion over the last few years.

“He wanted to do what he thought was best for the team and that decision alone shows how much this club means to him.

“Joe will be staying in a leadership role with Rhys and will continue to do what he has always done.
I’m very proud to announce Misi as Captain; he is very well respected by all the coaches and players.

“He’s a great professional and really hungry to have a successful year. He has a great influence with our younger players and will be a great role model for them.

“I have no doubt he will lead this club with distinction. Fortunately, we have many leaders in this team and Misi will have some great characters backing him up every step of the way.”