Tusitala included in Manu Samoa team
Wearing the Manu Samoa jersey means everything to Danny Tusitala.
The Ponsonby Rugby halfback has been roped into the Manu Samoa team for their Northern Tour.
Tusitala, 25, is ecstatic.
This is his second call up for the national side after making his debut with the Manu in June.
‘‘The Manu has always been my goal,’’ Tusitala says.
‘‘It’s definitely come sooner then I had expected. I am really happy, a bit emotional.’’
Tusitala’s journey to a national jumper has not been easy.
He’s had to endure being away from his family in Henderson - his wife Shannon Maiava and their two children Jaimee-Munroe, 2, and Kyrie Du Preez, 6-months - for weeks on end as he chased his dream.
It all started in October 2015, Tusitala found out about an open trial for the Auckland Samoa 7s.
He planned to forego the trial as he was a week away from starting a new job.
‘‘My wife was pregnant with our second child and I had already made my decision that I was going to stay and look after my family.
‘‘My father-in-law found out about it and pushed me into attending the trial because he knew about my dream to play rugby for Manu.’’
He was selected into the Samoa 7s team and played in the first two legs of the 2015/16 IRB World Sevens Series.
While preparing for the third leg, Tusitala was given the opportunity to join Samoa A for the Pacific Nations Cup.
‘‘I knew if I took that opportunity it would mean I was one step closer to my bigger goal which was the Manu.’’
From the PNC, Tusitala was selected for Manu Samoa’s June campaign - his debut, and a proud moment for his family.
‘‘That was such a highlight, a very special time for my family and I as I made my debut in my home country.
‘‘The blue jersey means everything to me so every opportunity I get to wear it is special.
He attributes his rugby success to his family, especially to wife Shannon for the big role she played.
‘‘She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.’’
Samoa will play France, Canada and Georgia in the Northern Tour from November 12.
Danny Tusitala plays halfback for Ponsonby Rugby’s men’s premier team.