- Number: 293
- Position: Prop
- Born: 21/02/93
- Height: 186
- Weight: 135
- Province: North Harbour
- Provincial Caps: 27
- Provincial Points: 15
- Provincial Debut: 2015 v Canterbury
- Blues Debut: 2019 v Crusaders
- Blues Caps: 18
- Test Caps: 13
- Test Debut: 2018 v France
Karl joins the Blues for the 2019 Super Rugby season after a meteoric rise in 2018, seeing him earn a nomination as the World Rugby Breakout Player of the Year.
Karl played for the Wesley College 1st XV alongside future All Black representatives Nepo Laulala, Malakai Fekitoa and Augustine Pulu.
His first class rugby debut came in 2015 for North Harbour against Canterbury. That same year he went to France to play for the Pro D2 side, Narbonne.
His return to New Zealand rugby saw him become a regular feature for North Harbour with fierce scrummaging and solid ball carrying.
Karl earned his first Super Rugby cap for a Chiefs side beset by injury. His scrummaging was exceptional and it wasn’t long before the All Blacks took notice. No more than 3 months after his Super Rugby debut came his first All Blacks cap, against France and he has not eased up.
It’s been a remarkable rise for this strong scrummaging prop with real skills around the park and after an incredible 2018, Karl will be looking to make 2019 just as memorable with the Blues.
Tu’inukuafe made his debut for the Blues from the bench against the Crusaders in the opening round of the 2019 Super Rugby season. He went on to make a further 10 appearances for the Blues in his debut season with the club before a serious viral infection cut his campaign short.
Expect Karl to be back with a point to prove in 2020.