As the Buildcorp Wallaroos side continues to prepare for a monumental 2022 season, rugby.com.au and Wallaroos naming rights partner Buildcorp went behind the scenes to show a side of the players' fans don’t normally get to see.
NSW Waratah Atasi Lafai is one of the most proven centres coming through the squad. Her style of play is electric and is looking for a wallaroo comeback after recovering from a knee injury in 2020. Off the field Lafai has a huge family focus being one of five siblings in a big rugby family.
Name: Atasi Lafai
Position: Outside Centre
DOB: Dec 07, 1995
Super W: NSW Waratahs
Club: Campbelltown Harlequins
What inspired you to play the game?
Knowing the fact that women could also play rugby as well really drives me. I love the physicality of the game and proving to people that anyone can play is a big reason why I play.
What is your best rugby memory?
Making my debut against the Black Ferns at ANZ stadium in 2018. I’ll never forget that experience.
What drives you to wake up every morning and train like you do every week?
The fire you get in your belly when you know you’re playing for your country and doing it alongside some of the most inspiring people I know.
Biggest goal for 2022?
I think heading to New Zealand and wearing the Buildcorp Wallaroos jersey in the World Cup next year is the biggest goal for me. Winning it with my teammates would be huge honour as well.
Is there a past or present player that you model your game after?
I think the way Dan Carter plays is amazing, his ability to read the game is incredible and he was a big reason why New Zealand won back-to-back World Cups in 2011 and 2015. I’ve always wanted to play as well as he does. He’s also very good-looking.
Who is one of your biggest Inspirations in your life and why?
My brothers Caleb and Tim, they’re good, kind-hearted humans and are really good at rugby. I wanted to play like them when I was growing up and they really push me to do so, they are a big reason why I am where I am today.
Which Wallaroo should we look out for next year and why?
Eva Karpani. She’s smashing it at training at the moment and I know she’s dying to pull on that Buildcorp Wallaroos jersey next year. She was amazing for the Tahs in Super W last year, so I think she’ll be a key player for us in 2022.
If you were stuck on an island and could only bring three things what would they be and why?
Firstly, I’d take my JBL speaker, music plays a huge part in my life and I really couldn’t live without it. I’d have to take Sera (Naiqama) with me as well she is one of the best people on this planet and would be quality entertainment plus good company. Finally, I’d take a BBQ with me, to be a good player I must keep my strength up and eat as much good food as I can.
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