Fiafia cherishes second crack at Manu Sina
For 27-year-old rugby player, Linda Fiafia of Maagiagi, she has risen to greater heights before as a member of the Manu Sina.
The daughter of Tapaau and Fiafia and player of the No Idea club has made it again into the Manu Sina training squad this year.
Her selection comes eight years after kicking off her budding career as a player at the Maagiagi Rugby Club in 2012, before moving to Vaiala 2 and then her breakthrough into the Manu Sina squad in 2013.
"I started my rugby career at the Maagiagi Rugby Club in 2012, then moved on to Vaiala 2 and lastly I joined the No Idea club where I got selected into the Manu Sina,” she told the Samoa Observer in an interview.
“And then in 2013, I was selected into the Manu Sina squad. Then we went for a tournament in Australia in the same year.
"When I got back, I stayed home. I returned to rugby in 2018 and made it into Manu Sina 15 in 2019 up till now, and I am still a part of the Manu Sina 7s and 15.”
However, due to family commitments, she had to put her career on hold when she moved to American Samoa in 2013 and consequently was unable to attend tournaments.
"After 2013, I left Samoa for American Samoa for family commitment and my rugby career stopped there too.
“So I only returned again to rugby in 2017, but I was unable to travel due to injuries. But in 2018, I was able to travel again for the tournaments.”
Fiafia says her family's support means everything to her and she is grateful that they are behind her throughout her journey.
"My life as a rugby player is really tough but with my family's support, I am confident that I can do it. Rugby is my life and I am going to do everything I can to make sure I lift it to the next level," she added.
Fiafia is working to get back her fitness level. It is a tough road but she is ready to endure it for the sake of her dreams.
"The challenge for me is my fitness level. I have been in the rugby arena for some time now and I can see that my fitness level is not anywhere near my goal.
“I will continue to work on it till I reach the level that I am aiming for. I know it's not going to be easy but that is the challenge for myself.”
Her memories of being a part of the Manu Sina squad is getting challenged by her teammates who help in the development of her career.
"My best memories will have to be spending time with the old members of our Manu Sina squad,” she added.
“They are the ones who always give me challenges in order for my talent to develop and improve. And in some ways, it has helped so much in lifting my rugby career.”
Fiafia urged young women who are eyeing a spot in the Manu Sina to keep going as their time will come.
"The advice is this is not the end. There is always the next year, if this year is not yours then try again next year. Don't give up easily, there is a future in rugby and if you're not selected, don't let your rugby career end there, keep going, your time will come," she said.