Player Jazz Tevaga


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland

The Warriors continue to strengthen their roster with crafty hooker Jazz Tevaga signing a new two-year-deal.

Playing understudy to Issac Luke, Tevaga made his NRL debut earlier this year with the Warriors moving swiftly to prevent rivals pinching the 20-year-old.

While there was interest from other NRL clubs, Tevaga decided to stay in Auckland to learn under Luke.

Luke and Tevaga now both come off contract at the end of 2018 but the Christchurch product can play a number of positions.

Tevaga was lock in the junior Warriors’ 2014 NYC grand final winning team.

Tevaga inked a new contract last Friday with the club expected to announce the signing shortly.
Great news considering he's third in line to Nathaniel Roache. I see him working his way to second but at the same time I see Issac Luke working his way to an 80 minute game or someone like Benry coming back from injury and playing the hooker/2nd row role. Even Roger Tuivasa-Sheck coming back and the potential of Tuimoala Lolohea playing halves which would move Thomas Leuluai to the hooker/lock would place Jazz lower down the pecking order.

Interesting times ahead for the hooker role but for now Im happy to see this years surprise package wrapped up for another couple years...
  • Like
Reactions: Jay M


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
Good move by the club.
Real good.

Where is he ?

Injured ?

If not the Rotation thing with Roach is smart. Why restrict yourself to one Luke trained protege when you can make two before Luke retires.

Neither Roach nor Jazz should be framed as eighty minute hookers just yet.

Jazz got pretty smashed up this year. Whether injured or not, I agree with micro managing junior players time in fg.

Otherwise you end up with either entitled fks like Hurrell or bitter over workers like Taylor/Matulino/Vatuvei and Mannering.

We have a history of either pandering or over reliance.

Holding back the like of Tevanga, Hingano, Fusitua is a more balanced model.

Freddie Futler

1st Grade Fringe
Jun 10, 2013
League: Warriors rookie Jazz Tevaga surprised by rapid rise
10:40 AM Saturday Jul 23, 2016

Rookie Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga has come a long way in the past year. Photo / Getty Images
Rookie Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga always had big ambitions but had to abandon a wayward teenage lifestyle of drinking and drugs to make it as a NRL first grader.

A whirlwind past 12 months has seen the 2015 Junior Kiwi begin to realise his potential and after impressing on debut in the Warriors' narrow round-three NRL defeat to Melbourne Storm, the 20-year-old will make his eighth top grade appearance off the bench in Saturday's clash against the Raiders in Canberra.

Tevaga admits his rapid rise has come as a surprise and says he wouldn't be where he is now without the help and guidance of two key figures from his junior football days at Papakura Sea Eagles, former under 20s club coach and team manager Spencer and Carmen Taplin.

"This time last year I never thought I'd be where I'm at now and it's been crazy to even play in the NRL," said Tevaga.

"Carmen and Spencer really had a huge impact on me. I was going downhill a bit and I don't think I would be here without them.

"I was getting into parties and drugs, boozing and marijuana, with my mates, fighting and stuff.

"I didn't commit any crimes, but was just up to no good. I was just getting up to mischief but that's all in the past now.

"They set me straight and I started setting goals. They changed my life really."

Christchurch-born and raised in Palmerston North before moving to Auckland, Tevaga is quick to list his father as "a huge role model", but his dad's army career meant Tevaga often missed a male presence around the home.

The Taplins are renowned for their work as rugby league caregivers and are now employed by the Warriors to look after five rising young players in the club's Howick share house. The duo previously worked in the same capacity for the Sydney Roosters and share a gift and passion for helping develop young players on and off the field.

Tevaga explains the pair made him feel at ease and enabled him to be honest in revealing the bad behaviour and negative influences that were having a detrimental effect on his life.

"He asked what I was up to outside of footy and I just told him the truth and opened up to him," he said. "They asked me what I wanted to do in life and he made me realise I wasn't going to get there doing the stuff I was doing.

"To really give it a crack I had to give up that stuff, so I did."

Spencer downplays his role and influence over the promising back-rower turned hooker, but says it was clear in 2012 that a 17-year-old Tevaga was in need of some direction.

"That's all he was looking for really, some guidance and boundaries," he said. "That's just like any young man, without them they're a bit wayward about where they want to head in life.

"Some of those kids, especially Jazz, would cling to you, and once I knew his story I understood why.

"We had our differences as coach and player but behind all of that gradually he understood I was trying to help him.

"It took him a bit to realise I was trying to teach him about footy but at the same time some off-field life skills."

Having turned the corner in his own life and career, Tevaga hopes his story can help others. He now gets his kicks not from booze or illicit substances but playing the game he loves on the big stage.

"Playing league, that's where I get my high now and I just love it."

- NZ Herald


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
Had a chuckle reading Tevanga's observation " i didn't commit any crimes" ......has pot been decriminalized ? (should be but that's a whole other discussion).....fighting in some context....if I read him right and he's talking about getting into scraps in Kura aint legal eight lol.

He's come a long way, enjoyed reading that, i'm a big fan....Go Jazz Go.
  • Like
Reactions: Freddie Futler


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
League: Jazz singing different tune as club finds voice
14 Apr, 2018 5:00am

Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga has improved his attitude and style of play in the winning start to the 2018 NRL season. Photo / Getty Images

Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga admits a poor attitude cost him his spot last year and says trust issues plagued the side, before their remarkable transformation over the off-season.

The improvements in Tevaga's game through the early rounds are representative of the dramatic changes in the player's attitudes and the Warriors performances as they search for their sixth straight win in today's clash against Brisbane at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

The 22-year-old hooker or back-rower played 11 games in his 2016 rookie year, but fell into cruise mode last season before getting his act together to feature in four matches at the tail end of their dismal campaign.

"I just didn't have the right attitude," Tevaga said. "I was just going through the motions at training and it showed in my performances, until the back of the year when I sat down and set some goals and got my ass into gear."

A big pre-season saw him take on more responsibility at training and he has been a strong contributor off the bench while playing close to an hour in each of the last three wins over the Raiders, Roosters and Cowboys.

Tevaga detailed how a lack of dedication to training last year meant some players were lacking in fitness, while others were doing their best each week and looking to raise standards within the club.

It's a far cry from the new atmosphere of accountability surrounding the side, with the player's improved commitment driving them to their best season start in the club's history.

Tevaga credits the arrival of experienced forwards Adam Blair and Tohu Harris Harris and five-eighth Blake Green for helping the players realise what was once acceptable was no longer good enough.

"There were a lot of trust issues last year and now that we've cleared that up and everyone's on the same page and buying in, obviously we're getting results," he said.

"There were a lot of professionals that took things seriously, but I don't think everyone was on the same page.

"It was across the board. There were trust issues on the field, sometimes you couldn't trust that your mate would be there, and there were trust issues between players and staff, but now we've got the right people in we're all on the same page and it's working."

Standing 1.78m and weighing 92kg, Tevaga has punched above his size and is relishing the chance to run and use the ball more in the lock forward role.

He has shown a knack for twisting out of tackles and slipping a late offload and believes his small stature makes him difficult for opposition forwards to contain.

"It's hard for a big forward, they want big guys to run straight at them and that's what they're good at, smashing them, but you get a little guy who's nippy around the ruck and they get frustrated."


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
Interesting about the trust issues, so they had a divided camp aye.

Sounds like a group of seniors that are no longer with us were probably more divisive than inclusive. Man I get peeved off when I read players like Jazz admitting they were in cruise mode. But good on him for being honest I really respect that.

Sounds like Blair was brought here for the off field stuff as advertised.

Jazz is going good I noticed lots of forwards are too lazy to wrestle him to the ground, they allow him to stand in the tackle as though stopping a little guy is a rest period.

Too bad he has a really fast play the ball that Isaac Luke runs off when the opposition let him get away with standing.

He can also spring back up to ptb much faster than other bigger forwards.

In short spells he is quite a dangerous momentum turner. Eventually coaches will target that ability of his. That may yield some ruck penalties in this new age...Bennetts lot got away with it however...hardly a run from Luke.
Refs are scared of the Broncos for some smelly reason.
  • Like
Reactions: Inruin

Wellington Warrior

Warriors 1st Grader
May 15, 2012
Wellington, New Zealand
Jazz Tevaga takes his boarding pass at the Warriors
Last updated 07:22, June 3 2018


Jazz Tevaga has cemented a place on the bench at the Warriors this year.

Jazz Tevaga has taken a leaf out of the Wests Tigers' book and got "on the bus" at the Warriors.

Those three words have become a rallying cry for the Tigers as they rebuild under Ivan Cleary. And a similar message Tevaga received from Stephen Kearney last year has helped the 22-year-old become a regular fixture in the Warriors' lineup.

After a promising rookie campaign in 2016, when he played 11 games, Tevaga found himself stuck in reserve grade for most of last year and he admitted to going through the motions.

That was until a tough conversation with Kearney about professionalism left him with two choices.

And Tevaga hasn't looked back since.

"He basically said to me do you want to be on the bus or not," Tevaga told Stuff. "Obviously I want to be on the bus so I got my act together and at the end of the season I played the last four or five games.

"I think I've got a more professional approach to things now, like not getting on the grog after a win, diet, stretching - all the little things."

That professional approach has seen Tevaga hold a regular spot on the bench this season, playing as a middle forward and occasionally backing-up Issac Luke at hooker.

The Christchurch-born Samoan international has already doubled his tally of matches from last year, with nine appearances in the Warriors' first 12 matches. And he's spending plenty of time on the paddock, averaging more than 50 minutes and getting through 32 tackles per game.

Tevaga's role is to re-energise the forwards when fatigue sets in, whether that be through exploiting tired defenders around the ruck or leading the line-speed on defence.

At 92kg, he plays above his weight in the middle and prides himself on taking a hard edge into everything he does.

"I've always been a defensive player," he said. "When I come on I try and bring energy. I like getting dirty with the big fellas, getting off the line and getting in their face and being tough.

"I suppose I'm doing the right things to be staying in the team each week. I'm learning a lot and feel I'm getting better. It's just a matter of doing it consistently."

Tevaga, who grew up playing lock, has been developing his game at hooker since breaking into the NRL.

His ability to fill-in at dummy-half means Luke can catch his breath without having to use up an interchange.

And Tevaga relishes working in tandem with the Kiwis veteran.

"He likes to play 80 minutes and there are times when he does back-to-back defence sets I know he's stuffed. So I'll tell him to have a rest and come in for a few sets.

"I like to try and get a fast play-the-ball for him so he can have a dart. I think we've got a good combination."

- Stuff
  • Like
Reactions: AlexM and Defence


Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
Hes a part of the reduced interchange game plan. When our forwards come out firing he does a good job for the team.

We were working well with the faster is better than bigger approach to the forward pack earlier this season. Maybe it only works well on a dry track, and the coaches don't think our team is fit enough to do it for the whole season? So it hasn't been working too well lately. But maybe later in the season Kearney will crank them up again and we'll see the smother defence win us a few big games.

Jazz makes sense if that's the plan.
  • Like
Reactions: YeahNah 4020


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
Sounds like Jazz is Kearneys boy reading about the Coach and Player pact to get on the Bus.

I " Daniel San I promise to teach Karate..."

Every Coach has a little favorite spurred on by personal relationships. Loolooeye was one of SK's pets.

Good on him, not being negative here, keep working on that passing game and who knows, maybe he will be one you look back on and admire how far they have come.
  • Like
Reactions: Defence and Weno

¿N. ig-mah¿

Warriors 1st Grader
May 1, 2012
He'd do well not to hang out with that dropkick Kevin Locke anymore. That guy out on the town is trouble...
Not happy to see that little scum-bucket locke back. Id prefer to hear the club marking him as a no-go for players. Turned out to be a cancer everywhere he went. Go dig some ditches and leave the club alone please. I dont want to be one of those clubs brings the lowlifes back in. Too many of them back playing as it is.
  • Like
Reactions: zegy


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
'I was shitting myself': Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga recovering after cancer scare
7 Jun, 2018 3:55pm
By: David Skipwith

Jazz Tevaga hopes to be back next week for the Warriors after his cancer scare. Photo / Photosport

Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga is recovering from a shoulder operation after a cancer scare had him fearing the worst throughout the first half of the NRL season.

The 22-year-old utility is unavailable for Saturday's clash against Manly in Christchurch after undergoing surgery last week to have a potentially cancerous growth removed.

The operation was successful and Tevaga will go in for a check-up with the specialist tomorrow and hopes to be cleared to return to training over the weekend in preparation for next Friday's match against the Cowboys in Townsville.

Tevaga is relieved the growth was discovered early as he was unaware of the problem until a teammate spotted the lump on the back of his shoulder prior to the Warriors' Anzac Day loss to Melbourne.

"It wasn't troubling me. I didn't know it was there. One of the boys noticed it when we were in the sheds and told me," said Tevaga.

"The team doctor had a look at it and said we had better get it checked out and I went in for an MRI scan."

The tough as nails hooker/lock admits he was worried sick after the scan revealed the need to have a follow-up biopsy to determine whether the growth was cancerous or benign.

It was a couple of stressful weeks before Tevaga eventually received the good news with the test results revealing his health was in no immediate danger.

"I went in for a biopsy midweek before the Tigers game and the test came back saying it was nothing, but that I needed to get it removed before it turned nasty," he said.

"I missed the Tigers match because they didn't want me to get a knock on it and have it bleed, because then it could spread and they could have to remove more.

"I was shitting myself about it though, just not knowing. My mum was worried, we all were. I've had a good support crew around me but that didn't really stop me from thinking the worst.

"I got booked in to get it all sorted over the bye and now I'm hoping to be back next week."

Tevaga is grateful for the support of his loved ones and friends and the understanding of coach Stephen Kearney, whose family dealt with a similar scare last year.

"Mooks was really good. Obviously he went through a similar situation and he had nothing but support for me and made sure my headspace was alright.

"But my family and all the boys have had my back and were all visiting me and checking in so that was good."

Kearney admits it was a worrying time for everyone at the Warriors and believes the ordeal has had a lasting impact on Tevaga.

"It was a scare for him. It was a scare for all of us actually," said Kearney.

"He's a good kid and I think he's come a long way in the last 18 months.

"I think he's finding a bit out about himself and I know it shook him up early when he didn't have the results."

Tevaga is now itching to get back on the field and hopes he can make a push to add to his four test caps for Samoa in their upcoming Pacific clash against Tonga in Sydney on June 23.

"If I play next week then I'll be available for selection.

"I have to get a clearance from the doctor on Friday, and hopefully if that's all good I'll train Saturday and Sunday and all next week ahead of the Cowboys game."


Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
In the words of the immortal Robby Williams...

"Life's too short to be afraid."

Jazz needs to tackle his health like he tackles those monster props. Just smash em bro...
  • Like
Reactions: YeahNah 4020


1st Grade Fringe
Aug 28, 2016
Wow. Reading these things always puts things into perspective with sport vs life. A bit like when we heard about Kearney's wife's battles last year which he kept under wraps for so long. All the best to Jazz with his recovery and glad they have caught it in time.


Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
I love watching Jazz play. He's a real deal footy player. Brings amazing intensity and courage to everything he does on the field.

But what I really want is for him to get his passing up to Lukes level.

He's got the running game, he's got the defense, he's got the mongrel.... It's just the finer elements that he needs to be a great rake.


1st Grade Fringe
Mar 13, 2016
I love watching Jazz play. He's a real deal footy player. Brings amazing intensity and courage to everything he does on the field.

But what I really want is for him to get his passing up to Lukes level.

He's got the running game, he's got the defense, he's got the mongrel.... It's just the finer elements that he needs to be a great rake.
A young Mario Fenech without the pass yet.
  • Like
Reactions: Off The Bench

Last Game

27 Aug

16 - 28
5.6 Total Avg Rating
0.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 5 ratings