You can take the boy out of Samoa but never Samoa out of the boy.
Despite being born and nurtured in a different country, Jarome Luai, the least experienced member of the Toa Samoa squad, is proud to be back to the place he calls home.
The youngest star of the national rugby league team hails from the village of Palauli, Savai’i.
“I feel very proud to be here in my homeland,” Luai told the Samoa Observer.
“It’s an amazing experience for me because it’s my first time here.”
The 20-year-old said his father was proud of what he had achieved, from making it into the Penrith Panthers Club to being part of Toa Samoa.
His grandparents were also happy because he will be able to represent their country in the World Cup.
He is very excited to see what the future holds for him.
This is a lifetime experience for the Jarome and he owes it all to his family.
Family is everything; it is the driving force behind the rugby league career of the young halfback.
“My family is the biggest part of my career and I want to make them proud,” he said.
Jarome said his excitement started from a last minute call that changed everything for him.
He did not expect to get picked through the selection process and the young player couldn’t afford to lose this big opportunity.
“I got a call which was late during the selection process and I saw this as a massive opportunity for me to experience NRL in another level,” said Jarome.
Not having any experience at playing on an international level of National Rugby League, the young Samoan is quite humbled with this opportunity and he acknowledges his coach for believing in him.
Being the youngest player in the squad, Jarome is eager to learn as much from his teammates and he feels very privileged to be among them.
According to Jarome, to train with experienced players such as Josh Papalii and others was an amazing experience which he will always hold close to his heart.
Jarome cannot wait to go back to the Penrith Panthers Club and share what he has learnt from this journey with his brothers.