Tupou Vaa’i joined the Gallagher Chiefs at the start of the 2020 Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition and was widely recognised for his strong debut in the Gallagher Chiefs first match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

He has previously played for the New Zealand Barbarians Schools in 2016 and New Zealand Schools in 2017. Vaa'i currently plays for the Taranaki Bulls in the Bunnings NPC.

Vaa’i has a big physical presence on the field, and following his impressive form during the 2020 Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, Vaa'i earnt selection in the 2020 All Blacks Squad. Vaa'i debuted for New Zealand on 11 October 2020 replacing Patrick Tuipulotu off the bench in the 75th minute. The following week, with Sam Whitelock ruled out due to concussion symptoms, Vaa'i made his first start for the All Blacks.

Vaa'i had another impressive season for the Gallagher Chiefs in 2021 solidifying his starting position. This lead to another All Blacks squad selection for both the Steinlager Series and the Rugby Championship.

A regular starter for the Gallagher Chiefs in the 2022 and 2023 Super Rugby seasons, Vaa’i was once again named in the All Blacks squads.

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