Tusi­tala in­cluded in Manu Samoa team

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.