Father’s death prompted son to succeed and places him with NZ Warriors

Hoko e mate 'ene tamai' ke ne fakalotolahia 'ene feinga na'a a'u ki he tumutumu 'o e 'akapulu' 'i Nu'u Sila ke tokoni'i 'ene fa'ee' mo e fānau'

‘Eliesa Kātoa has attributed his success in rugby to a sense of courage he developed after his father died while he was 12 years old.

He said he vowed to do something to help his mother and his siblings.

Kātoa has an ambition of making a fortune in rugby and he always wanted to have an opportunity to play rugby in New Zealand.

After three national rugby trips from Tonga to New Zealand, Kātoa finally signed a contract with New Zealand Warriors on November 1.

He was also awarded the Sport Person of the Year 2018 and graduated with honour from Tamaki College.

Kātoa was first chosen to play in Tonga’s Under 14 team in 2014 and the Under 15s in 2015 for their New Zealand tours.

However, he returned to the kingdom without any opportunity to stay and play in New Zealand.

He was selected in 2016 to represent Tonga’s Under 16 team for another New Zealand rugby tournament.

It was on this tour that Kātoa was awarded a scholarship to study and play rugby for the Tamaki College First XV on January 1, 2017.

Kātoa went back to Tonga briefly after the tournament before returning for his scholarship.

The New Zealand Warriors

In his last games of the 2018 rugby season, Katoa did not know that he was under the New Zealand Warrior’s radar.

A report on Warriors website earlier this month said “Eliesa Katoa, a much sought-after, athletic rugby union No 8 from the Tamaki College First XV” had been confirmed on a development contract.

“I came to New Zealand alone, but in my heart and mind, I always carry around my family wherever I go and every game I play,” he told Kaniva news.

“This was because I know my father has died.”

He grew up in Ha’apai before he relocated to Tongatapu and studied at Tupou College in 2016.

Kātoa was born in March 11, 2000 and grew up in the village of Koulo. He is the son of ‘Asaeli and ‘Akanesi Talanoa Kātoa.

The main points

  • ‘Eliesa Kātoa has attributed his success in rugby to a sense of courage he developed after his father died while he was young.
  • He has now been signed for a development contract with the New Zealand Warriors.


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