D’Angelo Leuila has been named Breakout Star of the Year for the Manu Samoa by Head Coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia.
Leuila is most noted for his outstanding performance against Canada in which his spot on kicking lead Samoa to its first victory in the Northern Hemisphere Tour.
2016 has definitely been one for the books for this former Papatoetoe High School student.
At only 19 years of age, he starred in the champion Samoa U20’s side which brought home the World Trophy in April.
His outstanding performance in the U20’s team wowed spectators and international selectors. Finally in June, Leuila reached the pinnacle of his rugby career and debuted for the Manu Samoa in the match against Georgia.
“I didn’t expect to come this far with my game but I am thrilled for the opportunity to play for the Manu Samoa,” he told the Samoa Observer before the match in June.
“I am excited to be here and to be with the other boys. This is a good experience for me, and everything about this selection has made me so grateful to God for all his blessings and for bringing me this far.” Leuila was also included in the squad for the Pacific Nations Cup against Tonga held in Apia. Although he had very few minutes on the pitch, he made every minute count to showcase his skill and talent which clearly caught the eye of Namulauulu.
However, this definitely would not be the last time he donned the blue jersey for the year and got the call up to tour Europe with the Manu Samoa in the Northern Hemisphere Tour, where he excelled on the pitch.
Head Coach commented on his selection of Leuila for break out star of the Year. He stated, “He starred in the Manu U20s Champion Team in April and debuted for Manu Samoa in June with an impressive last few minutes in the last test versus Tonga. Then he led with an impressive individual performance against Canada in our last November tour with 20 points. At 19 years old he’s certainly a star for the future.”