Whanganui-born Hemopo’s athleticism and impressive speed for a big man make him equally adept at both lock and in the loose forward pack. It is this strength and versatility that caught the eye of the national selectors.
After a couple of strong seasons with the Highlanders, including a stand-out performance in the Otago franchise’s historic win over the touring Lions side in 2017, Hemopo earned an All Black call-up in 2018.
He debuted for the All Blacks debut against France in the mid-year series, going on to play a further three tests that year in the Rugby Championship.
Hemopo is set to gain further experience abroad in 2020, when he joins the Mitsubishi DynaBoars in the Japanese Top League.