LRB sports was fortunate enough to catch up with Samoan rugby player Aukuso Taumafi (Sonny). Read up and hear what he has to say about the highs and lows of Japanese rugby.
Name: Aukuso Taumafai
Hometown: Malaela Aleipata
Rugby Team : Hakuoh University (Tochigi Prefecture-Oyama)
First impression of Japan? People are very respectful and are very nice to us foreigners.
Favourite food? My mums Sunday meals and of course sushi. I once totalled 40 plates at a sushi shop, thats 80 pieces in one sitting.
Favourite Japanese Word? お願いします(Onegaishimasu) and ありがとう (Thank you), always thank god for every opportunity you get and every blessings and always respect others to earn it.
Future ambitions? Hopefully graduate from university and get a degree in business and management. My motivation is to make my parents proud and get them out of the struggle they are currently in.
People you look up to and why? My grandpa he always inspires me to never forget my roots and my struggles and to take it as something to motivate me when read blessings come like this one I have in Japan.
Favourite player and why? Jonah Lomu because he was so strong and never gave up and was constantly pushing harder to be the best.
Advice to high school players?
Playing Rugby in Japan hasn’t always been easy for me but if you get a great opportunities like this I recommend you take it, even if you get a small one just take it When you accomplish the small things the feeling is amazing and it will no doubt grow into more opportunities that are bigger and better. Push hard for what you want and what you want to achieve. Rugby is not about size or being the best it’s about committing to something with a goal to achieve. Enjoyment is also very important, make sure to enjoy your rugby and not get burnt out, Aim to make rugby a better sport for all.
Favourite Quote: ‘where I come from we struggle but my family is my motivation to keep going’
If you wern’t playing rugby what would you be doing now? I would be doing engineering or working and playing rugby same time.