Rugby: Moana Pasifika hopeful Siua Maile chases professional rugby dream

With Moana Pasifika set to make its debut in next year's Super Rugby competition, attention has turned to what the makeup of the team will look like.

And while you're likely to see some current Super Rugby stars on the list, the requirement for the majority of the team to be aligned with the Pacific could also create an opportunity for those on the cusp, and Siua Maile is one such player who fits that profile. 

The 24-year-old hooker has been to a Rugby World Cup with Tonga and plays NPC for Manawatu.

But most of the time, you'll find him on the construction site keeping fit on the tools during his day job as a roofer.

He's hoping he'll soon be able trade in the tools and his club-playing days for a Super Rugby contract with Moana Pasifika.

"Full time work as a professional rugby player, that would be the dream," Maile tells Newshub.

That dream is now closer to a reality for players like Maile, with 80 percent of the Moana Pasifika side to be made up of players aligned to Tonga and Samoa.

"There are a number of on the cusp or not just quite there for whatever reasons," says Moana Pasifika general manager Kevin Senio.

"But I know in terms of them using us as a pathway. We see it that way too and we're geared up to support them."

Maile has already had a taste of a high performance pathway. He recently spent six weeks in preseason with the Crusaders, where he soaked up the knowledge from arguably the country's best player at his position.

"Codie Taylor was helping me a lot," he says. "So, just training to copy his style and go from there."

His focus is now on realising his dream to be a full-time professional.

"Family back in Tonga, money is not the best," he notes, "That's what we do here to try to provide for the family back home."

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