Playing for the Samoa national team has always been Talaga’s dream ever since he was young.
And today, that dream has become a reality.
Talaga Alofipo has also played for the Manu Samoa 7’s team, and now that he has been picked for the national team, he couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve always had a passion for rugby,” he said. “And ever since I was a kid, I always loved playing rugby and I never wanted to stop.”
The 23-year-old admits that getting to where he is now was not an easy journey for him.
“It was challenging and I had to make a lot of sacrifices like giving up drinking (alcohol) and striving to be the best I could be.”
“I had to stay focused, work hard and train harder. Commitment was another vital aspect which has led me to where I am now.”
Talaga said he couldn’t have done it without the support from his family.
“They are my main motivation,” he said. “They fully support me and they always encourage me to do my best.
“I want to make my family happy and proud of me. I am here because of them and I will continue to work hard so that I can give something back to them for all they’ve done for me.”
And with just a few weeks left till their first test match against Georgia, Talaga said he is now living his dream.
“Like I said before, this is what I wanted ever since I was young, and my dream does not end here. To me, this is just the beginning and I am now doing everything I can to stay in the team and to stay focused.
I will use the opportunity wisely, because this is a dream that most of our Samoan boys have; that is to wear that blue jersey and play for our national team. So I am not just going to sit back and enjoy it now that I have been picked.”
Talaga’s message for the aspiring rugby players of Samoa is very simple.
“Believe in your dreams,” he said. “Don’t give up easily and work hard and train harder. This is something I learnt from other former rugby players like Lolo Lui and others.
“They pushed and encouraged me to hold on to my dream and to run the extra mile so that I could achieve what I want. And that is the same message I want to pass on to our younger players. And if you are passionate about rugby, then all you need to do is stay focused, commit to your training and believe in yourself.”
Talaga Alofipo is the son of Vilo and Ofa Alofipo. He hails from the villages of Saleaula, Sato’alepai and Vaimoso. The 23 year old plays for the Vaimoso Club and is a former student of Vaipouli College.