Aussie Tupou 'ready' for Springboks despite Johannesburg phone snatch

Burly Taniela Tupou (C) had his telephone snatched on a night out in Johannesburg (AFP Photo/Juan José Gasparini)
Burly Taniela Tupou (C) had his telephone snatched on a night out in Johannesburg (AFP Photo/Juan José Gasparini)

Johannesburg (AFP) - Australia prop Taniela Tupou says he is fine to take on South Africa despite a minor struggle with an assailant after his telephone was stolen in Johannesburg on Saturday evening.

Tupou, who was in the city ahead of the Wallabies' opening Rugby Championship clash with the Springboks on July 20, had his phone snatched in the upmarket district of Sandton outside his team's hotel as he walked back after a dinner at about 9:15 pm (2015 GMT).

"I'm ready to go, ready to train," Tupou said. "It's crazy... I learnt a lesson. Lucky it was not my wallet."

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In a footage released by Rugby Australia, 23-year-old Tupou, who weighs 135 kg (298 lbs), had two patch dressings on his right forearm following the incident.

"I was at dinner with the front rowers," Tupou said. "On our way back someone just came from behind and took my phone.

"I thought it was one of the boys so I looked back and he was wearing a hoodie and ran with my phone.

"I tried to chase after him and he got in the car and I got some cuts but I'm fine. I lost my phone but I can live with that."

Rugby Australia said in a statement on Sunday that the get-away car was waiting for the attacker, while police said the theft was part of a series of incidents on Saturday night in Johannesburg, which has a reputation for high crime levels.

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