Rugby star missing Christmas in Manono-uta
Manu Samoa and Newcastle Falcons star prop, Logovi’i Mulipola, misses spending the festive season with family at Manono-uta.
The rugby star’s sole brother, Paul Mulipola, who currently resides at the family home in Manono-uta, told the Samoa Observer that his brother is yet to celebrate Christmas in Samoa 12 years after moving to England to play rugby.
"Ever since our mother left, I felt like I was left all alone in this world knowing that my brother is living in a different country," he said.
Their late mother, Iaeli Taofi Tupufia passed on in 2017 and was a big loss for the two brothers.
The closest Mulipola has come to visiting Samoa close to Christmas was in September this year after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, when he and other Manu Samoa players returned to the homeland, and he took the opportunity to visit his family home at Manono-uta to catch up with family.
His brother Paul, who is now a teacher at Don Bosco in Savai’i, talked of their younger years and how their family struggled.
But Mulipola’s securing of a rugby contract in England, where he spent close to seven years playing for Leicester Tigers in the Premiership, changed his family’s fortunes.
"We've struggled our way up from penniless to where we are now, and I have to admit that Logovii's rugby career was a big help to our family's financial problems," he said.
"But despite being poor back then, we were always very happy as we always had each others' back."
Mulipola did secondary schooling at the Aana 2 College and then Don Bosco, where he went on to play for the Vaiala and Marist rugby clubs, and was spotted and got called up to national representative duties.
His brother Paul said Mulipola always provided for his family and the Christmas period was when the rugby season started in England, which made it difficult for him to visit home.
"He misses being home every year because by this time of the year, he's always busy with the premiership season in England, hence why he can't come but he's always missing home,” he said.
"He misses Samoa and I miss him too and I pray to God to protect him from the dangers in rugby and outside of rugby."
Mulipola joined the Newcastle Falcons in August this year after close to seven seasons with Leicester Tigers.