Faialaga Afamasaga is no longer the new kid on the block at the Manu Samoa.
Back for his second season with the team, the 28-year-old from the village of Fasito’o-tai is living his dream of becoming a Manu Samoa player.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Faialaga said he started playing rugby at his village field with the other villagers from when he was young. And he never wanted to stop.
“I use to get lot hidings from my parents when I was in Primary School, because my uniforms were always dirty every day after school from playing rugby,” he said.
“I enjoyed playing the game so much and I continued playing when I went up to College.”
Faialaga is an ex-student of Avele College, and he told the Samoa Observer that his time at Avele College helped him to become the person he is now with the game.
“I wouldn’t have come this far if the teachers at Avele College did not push me to pursue a career in rugby,” said Faialaga.
“My parents and family did not agree with it at first, because they wanted me to concentrate and focus on being an A plus student, but I did everything to the best of my ability to prove to them that that path was not for me.
“And my family have been supporting me all along with this journey.”
Said Faialaga, there were times in which he felt like giving up, but his family and parents kept pushing him to keep trying and do his best.
“Getting here was not easy, but my parents always tell me to leave everything to God and to have faith in Him.”
Growing up in Samoa, Faialaga said it was always his dream to wear the blue jersey for the Manu Samoa.
However, he said that he didn’t really think he would get to where he is now.
“I have always wanted to be like Kaisa Tuigamala and Siaosi Vaili, some of the well-known rugby players from my village. I wanted to do well with rugby and get the opportunity to represent my family, village. But I never thought that I would be selected to represent the whole nation.”
However, Faialaga is truly honoured and humbled by the opportunity given to him to be a part of the Manu Samoa.
Faialaga was also selected to play for the Manu Samoa during the historical match with the All Blacks last year.
And that was an experience Faialaga said he will not forget.
“When I was selected to be in the team that played against New Zealand, I was so speechless,” he said.
“I was overwhelmed with excitement and was grateful to God for His blessings.”
Although he did not spend much time on the field during the game with New Zealand last year, Faialaga said he learnt a lot from the game.
Looking ahead, Faialaga said his goal for now is to continue playing rugby and he is hoping to become a coach for the Manu Samoa team one day.
“I want to become like Brian Lima,” he said.
“I admire his passion for the game and how successful he was with his career in rugby. And he is now coaching our Manu Samoa team as well.”
However, Faialaga said he will wait and see what God has in store for him.
“I know that I wouldn’t be able to make it this far if it weren’t to God. He chose this path for me and I will lean on to him to direct me to the right path.”
Asked about preparations for the upcoming game against Georgia, Faialaga said he is certain that it will be a good and tough game.
“We’ve all been training really hard for the game and I know the team from Georgia did not come all the way to Samoa to lose. So it’s going to be a tough game, and I am just looking forward to it.”
Faialaga wants to thank his family, his spiritual parents, Eric and Amata Mulitalo and his whole village of Fasito’o-tai for their support and prayers for him.
Faialaga Afamasaga is now playing for the Northland Club in New Zealand, and he is married to Ianeta Afamasaga and they have three children.