Wairangi Koopu

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Wairangi Koopu
Wairangi Koopu.jpg
Koopu in 2008
Personal information
Full name Dane Wairangi Manurea Koopu[1]
Born (1980-04-02) 2 April 1980 (age 38)
Opotiki, New Zealand
Playing information
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
Position Second-row, Lock, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–08 NZ Warriors 159 34 0 0 136
2009 Melbourne Storm 12 1 0 0 4
Total 171 35 0 0 140
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1999–08 New Zealand Māori 5 1 0 0 4
2004–05 New Zealand 3 0 0 0 0
Source: [2][3]

Dane Wairangi Manurea Koopu (born 2 April 1980) is a former professional rugby league player who played for the New Zealand Warriors and the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League. Koopu primarily played in the second row, and in the centres. He is now a reporter for The Crowd Goes Wild. He is fluent in Te Reo Maori and often appeared on Māori Television.[4]


Koopu was born in Opotiki, New Zealand on 2 April 1980. He is a part of the iwi Te Whānau-ā-Apanui.[citation needed]

Playing career

Koopu played for the Taniwharau Rugby League club in Huntly.[5] In 1998 he also represented the Waikato Cougars, played for the Junior Kiwis and was named in the National Māori tournament team after representing Waikato Māori.[6] During the early part of 1999, while on contract with the Warriors, Koopu played for the Glenora Bears and represented Auckland North.[7]


Koopu made his first grade debut for the Auckland Warriors in Round 6, 1999. He went on to play for the club 159 times, earning the nickname "Mr Consistency".[8] Koopu played for the New Zealand Māori in 1999 and at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Koopu played for the New Zealand Warriors from the interchange bench in their 2002 NRL Grand Final loss to the Sydney Roosters. It was not until 2004 that he made his debut for the New Zealand Kiwis.[9] Koopu seriously injured his shoulder in 2006 and never fully regained his consistency with the Warriors.[10] As a result, after ten years with the Warriors, Koopu was released by the club at the end of the 2008 season. That year Koopu again played for the New Zealand Māori in two games, including a match against an Indigenous Dreamtime side.


After being released by the Warriors, Koopu considered a switch to rugby union and trained with the Auckland Rugby Union team, but he eventually accepted a one-year contract with the Melbourne Storm for the 2009 season.[4][10][11][12] The Storm team won the Premiership that year.

Later years

Koopu (second from left) playing for Pt Chev in 2010

In 2010 Koopu played alongside Stacey Jones and Awen Guttenbeil for the Pt Chev Pirates in Auckland Rugby League's Phelan Shield. In 2010 an internet fraudster posed as Koopu and contacted the AMNRL's David Niu, organising for him to play in the AMNRL with the Northern Raiders.[13][14][15] He remained with the Point Chealier club in 2011, when they competed in the Fox Memorial qualifying round.

In 2015, he was named at loose forward in Taniwharau's team of their first 70 years.[16]


  1. ^ KOOPU, DANE WAIRANGI MANUREA 2004 - 2005 - KIWI #715 Archived 2012-04-23 at the Wayback Machine. nzleague.co.nz
  2. ^ NRL Stats[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Warrior Wairangi keen on rugby switch". Sunday News. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Warriors profile: Wairangi Koopu". One Sport. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  6. ^ New Zealand Rugby League Annual '98, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1998. p.p.133-135
  7. ^ Jessup, Peter (16 March 1999). "Rugby League: Injury gives Hoppe a starting chance". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Wairangi Koopu". Television New Zealand. 18 January 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  9. ^ "GB have Long to thank". BBC Sport. 5 November 1999. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  10. ^ a b Aaron Lawton (9 Nov 2008). "Koopu flies into Storm coop". Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 9 Nov 2008. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Koopu joins Auckland as he 'weighs options'". Rugby Heaven. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  12. ^ Gould, Russell (10 June 2009). "Swine flu hits Storm star". Herald Sun (Melbourne). Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  13. ^ "Monday meeting for Tahu, Joey". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  14. ^ Steve Kilgallon Koopu off to America Sunday Star-Times, 20 June 2010
  15. ^ Lawton, Aaron (4 July 2010). "League stars scammed". Sunday News. Retrieved 7 November 2011. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ AARON GOILE (3 February 2015). "Lance Hohaia named Taniwharau rugby league club's best". Stuff.
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