NSW Women utility Atasi Lafai can thank being one of five siblings for her initial start in playing rugby.
Lafai is having a wonderful season with her expansive play and crossing the strip twice in NSW’s undefeated run in the Super W competition.
She started playing backyard footy at a young age with her brothers, including current St George-Illawarra Dragons rugby league centre Tim Lafai.
“He was really into rugby league, so that contact playing with my brothers, wrestling, all that got me into rugby... yeah, I love contact,” Lafai told The Women’s Game.
The Parramatta Two Blues player played at school but wasn’t aware there was a competition for women after leaving school.
Over time and through Facebook, the Minto resident realised Campbelltown Harlequins had a team, so she went there initially.
She said she loves playing for NSW and it’s been more intense than her previous experience representing Sydney two years ago.
“This NSW team is just so much different to the actual Sydney team...there wasn’t as much hype around it," Lafai said.
“There’s a lot more professionalism around training, watching what we do and what we say and just those little things that make us feel more important.
“Obviously, it’s being televised which is pretty cool... I feel that’s the main difference," she said.