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Shontayne Hape

Shontayne Hape

Key Facts

SquadLondon Irish
PositionCentre
Age33
Height1.86m (6'1")
Weight102kg (16st 0lb)
Caps13

Profile

The lure of a new challenge catapulted Shontayne Hape into rugby union in the 2008-09 season on a three-year contract with Bath that pointed towards his first two England caps against Australia in June 2010 at the end of his second full season. 

He had already scored a try for the England XV against the Barbarians at Twickenham the previous month and signed for London Irish last February on a two-year contract starting in 2011-12. Before playing for his new club, Shontayne marked his RWC debut with two tries in the second pool match against Georgia in Dunedin. They were his maiden scores at that level.

His switch to the union game had followed a rugby league career that embraced New Zealand Warriors, Bradford Bulls, from 2003-07, and 14 caps for the Kiwis. 

In his debut season for the Bulls, he scored 15 tries and missed only one of 35 matches. He qualified for England on residence in December 2009, having created a formidable partnership at Bradford with Lesley Vainikolo, now of Gloucester Rugby, a pairing that became one of the most lethal in Super League history.

They scored 227 tries between them in five seasons. Auckland-born Shontayne appeared in three Grand Finals, winning two of them and achieving the double with a Challenge Cup success in 2003, alongside two World Cup Championship victories.

He plundered 85 tries in 136 matches overall for the Bulls. Educated in the West Auckland suburb of Massey, Shontayne played rugby league with Te Atatu Roosters where his father coached. When winning his first England caps, he had made 46 appearances for Bath, including 29 in 2009-10, and scored five tries.  

A quick reader of match situations, he has an intuitive knowledge of whether to go inside or out wide and whether to take the ball in, draw his man and set up his support runners.

Add his physical presence and pace and a powerful aura emerges as he illustrated when being the Investec Man of the Match in the Samoa game at Twickenham in November 2010. Shontayne has undergone three knee reconstructions, two involving his right one along the way to the accolade of England selection.

International Record

10 points - 2T

2010 A(1,2), NZ, A, Sam, SA 2011 W, It, F, S, I, W World Cup - G

Last updated: September 19, 2011

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