PROP | 1.96m | 122kg | 22yo
Big, athletic prop who made an instant impression when moving back to Auckland from the Crusaders in 2017 season. The former Fiji and NZ U20 player finished 2017 with five caps including coming on as replacement against the British & Irish Lions. He had an outstanding Mitre 10 Cup for Canterbury in 2017. He suffered an arm injury in the match vs Lions in South Africa.
Where is home to you?
Now, home is Sandringham/Mt Albert but growing up we moved all over – West and South Auckland.
What do you like most about being in Auckland?
I like being back home with my family which is probably the main reason I moved back.
Your favourite moment in rugby?
Having the opportunity to put on the jersey each week, before my current injury. After getting through pre-season and finally having the chance to put the jersey on felt like all the hard work was worth it.
What is your earliest rugby memory?
Playing barefoot in the backyard with the family as a kid. I remember running straight into my older cousin and he picked me up and landed right on my stomach. I got the wind knocked out of me that day.
Are any of your family involved in sport?
My nephew Josiah is starting his first season of rugby at Waitemata. With being injured, I’m looking forward to being able to be at his games supporting him. My younger brother Isaiah plays for the Warriors. For both Isaiah and I, training together as a family has been important. My older brother Will and cousin Jan from Zealous Crossfit taught us the importance of hard work and fundamentals of lifting that has contributed to where we are today.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I like to watch anime. I find that TV shows and rugby programmes are not for me, if I want to relax. Another thing is that my brother and I build computers. It’s a bit of fun. Just quietly, I’m a computer geek.
Who’s the biggest comedian in the team?
We have a little group of them but Pauliasi and Sione – they have the quiet humour, the undercover ones.
Did you have a sporting idol growing up?
Ray Lewis (NFL linebacker for Baltimore Ravens for 17 years). He always worked hard and always put his heart out there for his teammates. Everything he does is with purpose and when you do something with purpose it means you care for it and have a love for it.
What was your first sport?
I used to be a swimmer in West Auckland for the Waterhole club. I used to be quite quick which is how I got my nickname Guppy. I swam competitively.
What musical instruments to you play?
The triangle. Just joking. I try the ukulele but my hands are a bit big…
And your favourite music?
I like a bit of Frank Ocean. He has some pretty cool old-school jams. Today’s music is a bit lost for me and a bit hard to listen to all day long. But it plays all day long in the gym – TJ, Aki and Dalton are the music men at the club so no chance of anything but today’s music.
What is the last movie you watched?
Black Panther – it was awesome.
Do you have any superstitions?
I don’t believe in superstitions. If you prep well then everything falls into place.
What cartoon character would you like to be?
It would be Vegeta. His character was the strongest at one point but he got overtaken by Goku. Strange I know. His character is that he’s always second best but he’s always fighting to be the best he can be. It’s how I feel sometimes – I’m not quite there but I’m working really hard.
What is the one food you would never give up?
Bread. I can remember coming home from school having not eaten all day and me and my brother would polish off a whole loaf of bread. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches man, the best.
Tea or Coffee?
Neither. Just water.
Early bird or night owl?
Smile or game-face?
Smile for sure.
Tattoo or not?
None for me.
Cats or dogs?
Cats for me.
Leather or Denim?
Neither – they’re horrible choices.
Fiction or non-fiction?
Video game or exercise?
Video game, all day.
Favourite movie or a book?
The Alchemist – if I could read that all day, then I would.