Where are they now? Ruben Wiki

Ruben Wiki was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1973. 

As a junior he played for the Otara Scorpions and then the Otahuhu Leopards. As his talent shone, he played for the Junior Kiwis in 1992 alongside future All Blacks captain Tana Umaga.

He was then recruited to the NSWRL by the Raiders when he was scouted while representing the New Zealand Māori side. He made his first grade debut in Round 11 1993 off the bench and began the start of his professional rugby league journey as a winger.

In 1994 he moved into the centres and his partnership with Mal Meninga turned into one of the greatest centre pairings of all time. Meninga scored 13 tries and Wiki scored 15 which was the biggest season of his career and took the Raiders all the way to the 1994 Premiership.

Drama began when it was revealed that he signed a letter of agreement to play with the Auckland Warriors in their inaugural season in the ARL. A change of heart and then a court proceeding led to him staying for 12 seasons in total until 2004. 

In 1998, with Mal Meninga as coach of the Raiders, there was a dearth of talent in the forwards and so Wiki put his hand up to move into the back row and the rest is history. He played 224 games in total for the green machine before heading back to New Zealand in 2005.

After playing four seasons at the Warriors and adding another 87 first grade games, his NRL career finished up with 311 appearances and 72 tries.

Being of Samoan and Māori Heritage, he was eligible for both countries but represented the country of his birth and now has the record for the most appearances for New Zealand of all time. His 55 appearances is only bettered globally by Darren Lockyer (57) and Cameron Smith (59).

In 2005 he led New Zealand to a historic Tri-Nations win against Australia which was the first series win against Australia since 1953.

In 2009 Wiki came out of retirement to play for the Samoan Residents, a team representing his Mother’s homeland, in a one-off match which raised money for the Samoan tsunami relief fund.

Post playing, Wiki took up a role as a High Performance Assistant with the Warriors. Then later he was the New Zealand Rugby League’s national High Performance Manager.

Now 49, he is still as fit as ever and along with his wife Santa, he runs Wiki Workz Fitness in Auckland.

He still bleed green as much as ever and loves watching his beloved green machine.

The Green Machine Podcast post player profiles weekly on their Facebook and Instagram pages as well as an Instagram quiz each week on the feature stories.

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