Big things are expected of this teenager who recently made her Wallaroos debut

Australia Women’s centre Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea

Date of birth 5 November 2000 Born Auckland Club Queensland Country Australia Position Centre

When did you first play rugby?

At 14. There was a team at school and I was encouraged by some friends to start playing. Before that I played netball and OzTag (non-contact rugby league).

What do you enjoy most?

Defence and tackling! I love the physicality and working hard to outdo whoever is running at you. I think defensively I’m sound. We’re told that defence is 90% attitude and I’m pretty good with my mindset.

Who were your childhood heroes?

My parents. They have always been there for me and my family. They’re so supportive.

How much does it help having Will Skelton as your uncle?

Uncle Will is awesome. He sent me a good-luck video message before the Super W final against NSW, so it’s great to know I have his support.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

My coaching mentors – Lachlan Parkinson, the Reds high performance and Aussie Youth Sevens coach, and Moana Virtue, my Queensland Reds Super W and Sunnybank coach. They have helped me develop my game mentally and physically, and encourage me to push beyond my limits.

How do you find playing senior rugby for the Reds Super W team?

We were disappointed we couldn’t defeat NSW but have really closed the gap on them. The standard of the competition is really strong and makes me hungrier for more.

Do you prefer sevens or 15s?

Can I say both? I love playing in both comps and love them for different reasons.

What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I’m just enjoying it at the moment and not trying to get too ahead of myself. This is a big year for the Wallaroos with the most home Tests for the team ever, plus there is an Olympics next year and I’m keeping my eye on that.

RW VERDICT: The teenager put her aspirations of being a police officer on hold to focus on rugby. And it’s paying off as she’s making waves Down Under. She made her Wallaroos debut against Japan and expect her to push for a place in the sevens squad for Tokyo 2020 too.

This article originally appeared in the August 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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