If you ever get the opportunity to meet Daniel Tupou, you probably wouldn’t get the impression that he is a State of Origin winner, international representative and three-time Premiership star who has played 200 games at the one Club.
In fact, you probably wouldn’t even know he was even a professional Rugby League player, such is his humble and cheerful personality.
But that’s the exact sentiment of teammates, coaches, staff members and Roosters Members, and they couldn’t be happier to celebrate the towering winger’s milestone of playing 200 games for the Club this weekend.
It hasn’t always been easy for the fan favourite winger; arriving from Parramatta’s lower grades to the Newtown Jets in 2012 for another chance at the big time.
But his contributions alongside a number of future Roosters teammates such as Daniel Mortimer and Isaac Liu helped the Jets hold aloft the NSW Cup that year, in what was a sign of things to come.
The noted family man – who still lives at home in Auburn to help support his parents - has poured hours of hard work and dedication into his craft to become one of the most consistent and respected players in the game.
Daniel Tupou Highlights
That’s just the kind of guy he is – he provides both the people in his immediate family and his Roosters family day in day out. No inkling of a complaint. He just goes out there and gets it done, putting everyone ahead of himself.
When Roosters Members and fans first saw this towering figure on the wing in late 2012, they might not have known what to expect, as is the case with most unknown rookies. But after scoring a hat-trick of tries in just his second game in the NRL, that was all they needed to see that he would be something special.
Fast forward twelve months and Tupou had established himself as an integral part of Trent Robinson’s 2013 Premiership-winning side, highlighted by his strong carries from the backfield and his ability to finish tries from the most impossible positions.
A go-to player in the air, he epitomised the side’s key foundations – start with a high work ethic and end with brilliance.
His meteoric rise continued as a member of New South Wales’ drought-breaking State of Origin side that took home the shield for the first time in eight years in 2014, capped off with his debut for Australia at the end of the season.
While his rise was rapid, there was never a hint of arrogance or overconfidence, and never doubt on his ability to remain consistent or improve his game. He just kept on going.
The high-flying winger opened the Roosters’ accounts in both the 2013 and 2018 Grand Finals, with barely a celebration to be seen in the bright lights – instead turning to his teammates and thanking them for putting him in a position to score.
A perfect example of that humility and gratitude that has seen him become a favourite both on and off the field.
People who know Daniel know how great a man he is and how caring of a guy he is. He wouldn’t tell you he had played his 200th or played football if you met him on the street. That’s what we love about Toops and I can’t wait to play in a big game on the weekend for him.Angus Crichton
That 2018 season, in particular, highlighted his importance to the side. In Round 2, an unfortunate incident while making a tackle saw him sidelined with a torn pec, one of the most gruelling setbacks one can sustain in Rugby League.
As Robinson's men continued to figure out their combinations on the field, his return in Round 13 was welcomed with a double, and his added stability on the wing helped the Tricolours kick into gear and go on a run to the title.
The only player alongside fellow 200-gamer Isaac Liu to play every game for the Roosters in 2021, in a year which has seen so much change to the line up week-to-week, Tupou has been the rock of the side; remaining as a consistent member as a plethora of young guns filled in the boots of Club legends.
Finals Media - Daniel Tupou
This week he will become just the twelfth Rooster to play 200 games for the Club – and the softly-spoken giant will also incredibly play his 20th finals match, which not only epitomises the success of the Red, White and Blue over the past decade but his own success and stature at the Roosters.
His personal achievements extended into the try-scoring ranks this year as well, as he overtook Club Legend Bill Mullins’ record to find himself in third place just behind fellow Premiership winning teammates Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Anthony Minichiello.
After extending his stay in Bondi for a further two seasons, we very well could see him take the top gong in the coming years.
While every single bit of praise for his most recent milestone is more than warranted, and in fact, SHOULD be spread across the front page of every Rugby League column, there hasn't been too much said in the media this week.
But that's exactly what the humble giant would want - so he can quietly go about his business for the Roosters without any fuss, just like he has in his first 199 games.