Henry Taefu

Henry Taefu: Bridging Cultures through Rugby and Govern

Henry Taefu’s journey in rugby is a testament to resilience, cultural pride, and the power of giving back. From his beginnings in Samoa to his current roles in both rugby and governance, Taefu’s story embodies the essence of perseverance and community spirit. Born and raised in Samoa, Taefu’s love for rugby was ingrained in him from a young age. He recalls his debut for the Reds in 2016 and later playing for Samoa, describing it as a full circle moment. 

“Moving to Brisbane and debuting for the Reds in 2016, then playing for Samoa, felt like a complete circle. After a year in New Zealand, we settled in Brisbane for my high school. From there, I moved through the Reds and the Force, eventually representing Manu Samoa.” 

Taefu’s transition to Brisbane marked a pivotal moment in his career. After he finished his tenure in Australia, he moved back to New Zealand without a contract, yet he seized opportunities, playing for North Harbour in the NPC before finding his place with the Moana Pasifika team. 

“Being part of Pasifika rugby has been fulfilling. I’ve seen a lot of Pasifika people in governance, inspiring me to join boards at my kids’ school and in my local area,” said Taefu. Taefu sees governance as a platform to make a meaningful difference, emphasizing the importance of diverse voices at the table.

“Governance is now a passion; having a seat at the table is crucial for making a difference. I want to give back and help shape the future of rugby.”

In his role with Pacific Rugby Players, Taefu aims to give back to the rugby community that has shaped him. He recognises the challenges faced by Pacific players, including the need for stability and support beyond the field. 

“Studying a bachelor degree really enhanced my passion for leadership and management and opened my mind to governance, and I realised I had a lot of transferable skills that translated from rugby into the business world.” 

“Mentors in governance and seeing diverse representation in Auckland inspired my confidence. Diversity of thought is crucial on boards,” said Taefu. 

Henry understands the importance of having support networks around especially when going through tough times. Henry himself has faced those challenges throughout his professional and personal life, but having support systems and resilience has helped him. 

“It’s really important that you never give up and really important that you also have support networks to help get you through it. Pacific Rugby Players are a team of people you can lean on but also [having] family and friends and the right people around you is crucial to getting through tough times.” 

Taefu’s commitment to giving back extends to mentoring and encouraging younger players. He believes in the importance of education and holistic development, emphasising that success in rugby is not just about on-field performance but also about personal growth and resilience.

“The journey for young Pacific players is tough with fewer opportunities. It’s not just about rugby skills; adaptability and character matter. Education and holistic development are essential.” 

As a member of the Pacific Rugby Players board Henry will undoubtedly be a great addition to an already illustrious team. His career speaks for itself, but his empathy and care towards his culture is what stands out, and it’s something that we Pacific Rugby Players hold as a foundational pillar. 

“Pacific Rugby players stand out for their humility, a key trait that sets them apart. I’m honored to contribute to Pacific Rugby Players and eager to learnand grow with the team. We’re making strides but still have a long way to go,” said Taefu.

Taefu’s journey is characterised by humility and a deep sense of gratitude. Despite his successes, he remains grounded, acknowledging the support of his family, mentors, and community. His dedication to bridging cultures through rugby and governance exemplifies the transformative power of sport in bringing people together, especially when it’s being spearheaded by people like Henry. 

We’re extremely grateful for the work he has done, and the work he will continue to do as a member of Pacific Rugby players.