When his son was born with a rare genetic disorder, Super Rugby star Angus Ta’avao was forced to consider his career. By Audrey Malone.
CHIEFS prop Angus Ta’avao has shown he’s got a giant heart to match his towering physique.
The 1.94m and 124kg man mountain has enjoyed a resurgent Super Rugby campaign this year after coming home from a twoyear stint across the Tasman – but he’s revealed he was ready to give the game away to make sure his new son Leo got a good start in life despite being born with a rare genetic disorder.
Little Leo was born in Sydney last year and spent three months fighting for life after being born with with partial-trisomy-13, a genetic disorder which affects the child’s ability to grow.
Because many babies born with the disdorder don’t live more than a year, Ta’avao’s partner, Kristyn Bradfield, decided she was going to come home to be closer to the support of friends and family.
The decision left the 27-yearold, who had captained the U20 All Blacks before joining Auckland and then playing for the Blues between 2012 and 2015, with a tough decision: head further afield in search of a big money overseas contract or return to New Zealand where, apparently, there was only the chance to play provincial rugby for Taranaki.
But Ta’avao says beming a parent has put everything into perspective, giving him focus and