Match Fit: All Blacks legend Inga Tuigamala's legacy lives on through family after death

All Black Inga Tuigamala's legacy of improving Polynesian health outcomes will live on through his family.

The 52-year-old has featured in Three's Match Fit show, filmed before his death in February.

Son Jordan Tuigamala is determined to finish what his dad started.

To Jordan, his dad's rugby jersey's are in no way collectors items - they're "family treasures". 

They belonged to a man that most Kiwis called 'Inga the Winger'.

"Yeah, super proud," said Jordan. "Super proud of his career."

Rugby fans remember the career well. Tuigamala was like a human steam-roller, but it's not his onfield achievements that gives Tuigamala Junior the most pride. It's his dad's efforts to improve the health of his Polynesian peers.

"Dad was especailly passionate about trying to get our Pacific men to take ownership of our health - that we give ourselves the best chance of living life, not just being alive, but living life." 

Tuigamala also had health struggles, but was determined to turn them around. In recent years, he boxed, did push-ups and helped his community get fit.

Before his death from a heart condition, he participated in Match Fit.

"My goal on this Match Fit journey is to get off as much weight, as I can, so I can get off these medications," Tuigamala told the show.

His family have now seen that first episode. 

Inga Tuigamala battles Mark Bourneville in 2002 Fight for Life
Inga Tuigamala battles Mark Bourneville in 2002 Fight for Life. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's still pretty raw for us, as a family, but it also brought some kind of closure as well," said Jordan.

"I think it inspired a lot of people in the church and when they see the show, they'll be inspired by Inga's journey, because he did really well," said former All Blacks captain and Match Fit host Sir Wayne Shelford. 

Tuigamala's legacy will continue for a long time to come.

"It's my whole focus now, continuing his work," said Jordan.

While most remember Tuigamala as the exciting Polynesian powerhouse, his family insist he was much more than that.

"I'd like people to remember him for being a supportive dad, a loving husband and an awesome grandfather," said Jordan.

Catch Three's award-winning Match Fit series, screening at 7:30pm Wednesdays