You’ve worked hard, opportunities await you with a semi-professional career, where do you go from here?
It’s not uncommon for sportspeople to question if they’re on the right path; or how long their sporting journey will be.
We take a look at the choices some of our players have made, and where are they now?
Pacific Rugby Players speaks to Latiume Fosita, who turned down contracts to upskill in another area.
Latiume Fosita has a bright future after playing rugby for Tonga for five years, spanning from 2014 to 2019 and two Rugby World Cups.
With promising career potential, Latiume turned down rugby contracts to take a break from the sport and pursue an apprenticeship.
He said it’s important to him to keep his options open and complete his studies while he’s still young. Latiume admits it wasn’t the easiest transition from rugby, the early mornings being the hardest part.
“It’s better waking up to go to the gym than it is to wake up and grab the shovel.”
However he enjoys the work he is doing and said he has no regrets , joking that the “spade and shovel have become my best friends”.
Born and raised in North Shore New Zealand to Tongan parents, Latiume has always had a keen interest in rugby.
“I played ever since I was young and played in high school with my friends.”
Much of his joy and love for the sport was through time spent with his dad, an avid rugby fan. Latiume said his father was the reason he played and enjoyed it so much. “He enjoyed rugby and took me when I was young. Ever since then I played it, and that was the sport I played.”
While his inspiration came from his father, Latiume credits his first coach out of High School, Geoff Moon, to getting him to where he is today.
“I played for two years under him and that’s pretty much where I learned how to play rugby. Before that I was just playing because everybody played it; but those two years kind of taught me how to play rugby.”
After meeting some reps, and playing in the National Provincial Championship, it wasn’t long before he was invited to play professionally for Tonga. “It was one of the best moments because I got to represent my family.”
As Latiume reflects back on his career, his highlights were playing in the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups and travelling. “I got to travel the world, I got to play in some countries that my family will never get to go to. Those are the cool things.” Although he hasn’t ruled out a return to rugby, Latiume is set on finishing his apprenticeship first.
When asked what his advice would be to other young rugby players, a modest Latiume wasn’t comfortable advising others on what they should do.
His advice to his younger self is to get qualified first while you’re young, and then pursue the rugby career.