Afa Amosa’s long road to the blue jersey
The last time loose forward Afaesetiti Amosa was in Samoa, he was being dropped from the Samoa Under 20s team back in 2009.
In July, he returned as a starring member of the Manu Samoa for the Pacific Nations Cup, and looks a sure bet to travel to Japan next month to represent his country at the Rugby World Cup.
“All in God’s time,” Amosa said.
“What are the chances of that, get rejected at Under-20s, then come back 10 years later and you’re a Manu.”
It was a long and winding path for the 28-year-old from Fasito’o-Tai and Vailele, who was born in Samoa but grew up in Melbourne, Australia.
Amosa played at the Brumbies Academy early in his career in a bid to win a Super Rugby contract, but couldn’t convince the coach to give him a shot.
“The only time he spoke to me, he goes ‘you will never make professional rugby, you’ll never crack it, you don’t have the x-factor’.”
He spent one more year at the Brumbies before heading back to Melbourne to join the Rebels reserves, earning MVP honours for the side.
“Even then they didn’t offer me anything, so I was going to give up rugby.”
Instead Amosa linked up with Gernika RT in Spain for the 2012-2013 season, seeing their European Challenge Cup campaign as an opportunity to impress scouts at higher levels of rugby.
“That’s where I got noticed, the game against Perpignan.”
He then signed for French second division club Colomiers, before joining first division sides La Rochelle in 2015 then Bordeaux in 2018.
Also arriving at Bordeaux before last season was fellow Manu newbie, Ulupano Seuteni.
“He was looking for a house and he ended up staying with me for a while.
“We’re real close, he’s like my younger brother now.”
The pair both resigned for two more years at the club just before the P.N.C., but it was Seuteni who got the call from Manu head coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson first.
“I think it was a month later and I’m still waiting, I was like bro I think I’m not coming,” Amosa said.
But the call came eventually, ending his long journey to the blue jersey.
“I’ve always been in the mix, but always got overlooked. I’ve had my ups and downs.”
Amosa insists the journey is not over yet, and if he does make the Rugby World Cup side, his motivation will be his family.
“I don’t want to disappoint them, I want them to be proud of what their son has achieved.
“One day I want to talk to my child, show them some memories of their old man playing rugby.”