Luatangi Vatuvei

Luatangi Samurai Vatuvei (formerly Ruatangi Vatuvei) (born December 8, 1977) is a Tongan-born Japanese rugby union footballer.

Luatangi Vatuvei
Date of birth (1977-12-08) December 8, 1977
Place of birth Tonga
Height1.9 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight120 kg (260 lb)
UniversityDaito Bunka University
Notable relative(s)Sione Vatuvei (brother), Manu Vatuvei (cousin)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Toshiba Brave Lupus
Kintetsu Liners
Toyota Industries Shuttles
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2001-2007  Japan 23 (45)

Vatuvei played rugby in Japan for Toshiba Brave Lupus in the Top League and has also played for the Japan national rugby union team under the IRB three-year residence qualification.

Vatuvei is extremely strong, usually in the second row but also used by Toshiba coach Masahiro Kunda in the centres. In 2006, Vatuvei obtained Japanese citizenship.

In 2007, Vatuvei moved from Toshiba to Kintetsu Liners, which was demoted from the Top League in the previous season. This did not prevent John Kirwan from including him in the Japan squad for RWC 2007.

Vatuvei was the top try scorer in the 2004-5 Top League season with 18 tries. He is a cousin of New Zealand rugby league international winger Manu Vatuvei and an elder brother of Tonga rugby union international flanker Sione Vatuvei.

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