Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

'It's always held me back': Levi Aumua shares his 'unique' journey to Super Rugby

By Ned Lester
Levi Aumua of Moana Pasifika makes a break during the round seven Super Rugby Pacific match between Crusaders and Moana Pasifika at Orangetheory Stadium, on April 07, 2023, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Game-breaking Moana Pasifika centre Levi Aumua has offered a wholesome and thoughtful reflection on his journey to Super Rugby stardom, revealing the unorthodox and challenging route to where he is today.


The tournament’s leader in defenders beaten, Aumua’s physicality is consistently getting his Moana side over the gain line and frequently breaking the line altogether. Just a few years ago though, the 28-year-old was struggling with his weight and discipline, he was ready to give the game up before an opportunity with the Tasman Mako presented itself.

Aumua admitted he hadn’t even heard of the Mako at the time and was prepared for his time with the NPC side to only last one week.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

“We left New Zealand when I was nine,” Aumua told Sky Sport. “I was actually ready to give up rugby over in Brisbane, I lost the passion for it and I had my struggles with discipline within rugby.

“It so happened that my agent found an opportunity over here in Tasman with the Mako, and to be honest with you I had no idea who the Mako were. I’d never watched rugby over in New Zealand since I left.

“So I went over and gave it a try for a week and I’ve been here ever since.”

Aumua went on to sign with the Chiefs and then the Blues, but only managed to feature four times for the Auckland side.

As his form in NPC continued to evolve, Moana Pasifika’s Super Rugby Pacific club was established and the big man was “honoured” to answer the call from coach Aaron Mauger.


“With Moana, even last year when they approached me about joining the team, I was really honoured to hear from them. Just knowing that Moana is a team that represents not a country but a region of the Pacific, immediately I thought of my grandparents, my family from Samoa, Fiji and all over the Pacific.

“The difference with Moana would be that it’s a team massively based around family and culture. That’s something that I align with a lot in my life.”


An All Blacks XV selection in 2022 capped off an impressive year for Aumua, where he was one of the form midfielders in the Super Rugby Pacific competition. 2023 has seen him go from strength to strength, furthering his case for higher honours, the All Blacks XV having not impacted his eligibility for the number of nations Aumua qualifies for.

“Something that is unique about me would probably be the lessons and struggles I’ve been through as a rugby player. I’ve had issues with my weight and discipline around that, it’s always held me back, for a lot of years.


“I’m always wanting to do them (my family) proud and go out there and be my best, I think over the years I haven’t really done that so I feel like I’ve always got something to prove and I think that’s really starting to show.”


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE Eddie Jones turns to university talent in second coming as Japan coach Eddie Jones turns to university talent in second coming as Japan coach