Inoke Afeaki

Inoke Afeaki
Date of birth (1973-07-12) July 12, 1973 (age 49)
Place of birthTofoa, Tongatapu
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight115 kg (18 st 2 lb)
UniversityVictoria University of Wellington
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock, Flanker
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Secom Rugguts




Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1995–07 Tonga 24 (15)
Teams coached
Years Team
Poneke RFC & WRFU
Singapore Rugby Union

Inoke Afeaki (born 12 July 1973 in Tofoa, Tongatapu) is a Tongan former rugby union footballer, coach and administrator. He has played professionally in New Zealand, Japan, Wales, France and Tonga, and coached in France, New Zealand and Singapore.[1] His usual playing position was at lock.


Afeaki has played for the Wellington Lions in the National Provincial Championship, the Hurricanes in the international Super 14 competition, Secom and Ricoh in Japan before joining the Scarlets in Wales. He represented Grenoble in the French Pro D2. He captained Tonga at the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He signed for Saint Etienne in 2009.[2]

In 1986-90, he attended St Bernard's College in Wellington, in 1991 and 1992 he played for the Wellington under 19 and 21 teams respectively. He played for Petone from 1992 through to 1999, and the Wellington Lions from 1993–96 and again from 1999-01. He made his Super 12 debut for the Hurricanes in 1996,[3] in the first season. He played in Japan from 1997–98,[4] then returned to the Hurricanes from 1999 to 2001. He went back to Japan in 2002 and played there until 2005.

International career[]

He made his debut for Tonga on May 26, 1995 in a match against France, coming on as a replacement in Pretoria during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He also played in two other matches during the tournament, in the starting line-up, against Scotland and Côte d'Ivoire.

He next played for Tonga in November 2001 when he started against Scotland at Murrayfield Stadium. He captained them in their next match against Wales, in which he scored a try. He retained the captaincy for the following season and played four matches for Tonga in 2002. Following captaining them in a number of internationals in 2003, he then led Tonga at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia. In 2004 he was the captain of the Pacific Islanders rugby union team that played a series of matches against southern nations.

Afeaki was coach and technical director at Singapore Rugby Union from 2012 to 2017, before taking sports administration positions in Tonga.[5]

Personal life[]

Afeaki's family moved from Tonga to Petone when he was three. He now lives in Wellington and works as a site logistics controller for construction company McKee Fehl.[6]

Afeaki is married to Kanoko, who is Japanese. The couple has two sons.[6] He became a New Zealand citizen in 2022 and is contesting election to the Wellington City Council.[6]


  1. ^ Rich Freeman (20 May 2014). "SINGAPORE: A SMALL ISLAND WITH BIG AMBITION". State News Service – via Gale OneFile.
  2. ^ 1
  3. ^ David Ogilvie (8 December 1995). "Afeaki sweeps into Hurricanes squad". The Dominion-Post. p. 34 – via EBSCOHost.
  4. ^ Jim Kayes (12 August 1998). "Standard of domestic rugby higher - Afeaki". The Dominion-Post. p. 41 – via EBSCOHost.
  5. ^ "Afeaki appointed director of operations for Team Tonga". 24 July 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b c "Wanted for the All Blacks, but not as a New Zealand citizen – why Inoke Afeaki is running for election". Newsroom. 20 July 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.

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