Meet Fuifui Moimoi, the Tonga native who is an integral part of Toronto’s rugby Wolfpack
The Toronto Wolfpack, led by the Tonga native Fuifui Moimoi and captain Craig Hall, is the world’s first transatlantic professional rugby team. The team plays its first home game of the season at the Den (a.k.a. Lamport Stadium) on May 6 after starting the season off on a winning note in the U.K.
Fuifui Moimoi strikes an imposing figure on the rugby pitch. The 37-year-old Tonga native has been playing professional rugby for 15 years along with representing his country at the World Cup. He is one of many standouts on the new Toronto Wolfpack squad that is racking up the wins in dominating fashion during their inaugural season, which began in England a couple months ago, including a 76 to 0 win in the first league match. The team returns to its home pitch Lamport Stadium to play its first hometown match versus Oxford RLFC. Post City spoke to Moimoi from the training pitch in England.
First, tell me how you pronounce your name.
Umm, Foo-e Foo-e Mo-e Mo-e, but everyone just calls me Fui.
Does the name hold any significance?
To be honest, I don’t even know. It’s just a family name. Not sure. Back on the island, you are named after an uncle or a grandparent, but I’m not sure where it comes from.
Apparently, there are a lot of Canadian flags already flying in the stands in England?
Yeah. I saw a heap of Canadian fans, and they were so excited. I couldn’t believe they were gearing up for their home game. Like I said, Toronto is a home game, and that’s where our home is. We haven’t been there, yet, but myself and the rest of the squad and the coaching staff are so excited to get there next week.
What are you most looking forward to?
Obviously, I’m looking forward to meeting the fans — some have been travelling here to come watch the game — but also I’ve never been to Toronto so I want to check out what it’s like.
What were you thinking when you found out a Canadian team wanted you to play rugby for them?
I was very excited when I found that out. I got a call from the coach about the team in Canada. Obviously, I know our roles and that made it sit easier for me to make a decision. I’m very excited for the challenge.
You’ve been successful as a team straight away. Why?
It’s tough mate, it’s very hard. We have a good coaching and training staff, and we’re training every day and working on the little things to get things right in the game. We just work hard every day.
And what makes you such an impactful player?
I just worry about my own game, what I’m doing best for the team. Obviously, my job is to get forward so that the backs can come in and score. I just worry about my own game and do the little things to help the team move forward.
What is your career highlight so far?
I’ve been playing for New Zealand, and Tonga in the World Cup, but playing for Canada and at this level is one of the highlights for me. Hopefully we are going to be getting stronger and be a big contender.
We don’t know much about this level of rugby over here. What can we expect?
You guys will see how hard this game is when we come over, the physical game we play. We’ll be great over there. It will be good for the fans. Obviously, it’s the first game back with our fans and we’re really excited.
When did you start playing?
Yeah, I was born in Tonga, and I moved to New Zealand when I was 16, 17 I started playing. And I got good enough to move to Australia, and that’s where my career started.
Did you play when you were growing up?
We had rugby growing up. My mates would watch rugby, but me, every time I go watch the rugby league back home, all those big boys running straight into each other, I was kind a scared growing up, to be honest.
What do you love about it?
Just that it’s aggressive and every position you’re playing everyone tries to be better than you. When you take it on the field, you know, it’s fun. You get hit, you get tackled, and sometimes you hurt yourself. And you get up and go back to war again.