From Otter rugby to the USA National Team

Apr 21, 2018

By: Jannicke Stien
Born in the USA, Leuta moved to Fiji with his family when he was about seven years old, and it was then he started to play rugby. He returned to the USA at the age of 16 and has continued to play since. During the winter of 2015, he was studying at Monterey Peninsula College and playing with the CSUMB and San Jose Seahawks rugby clubs. In April 2013, he started to pursue his goal of playing professional rugby and an invitation to the Men’s 7s Eagles recruitment camp at the Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista opened doors for him.

CSUMB vs Fresno State November 2014

 CSUMB vs Fresno State November 2014

 

“After catching the attention of high-performance staffers, Leuta was included in the USA Men’s Falcons and Men’s Eagles Sevens squads before the end of the 2014-15 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Missing the cut for Team USA’s Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games due to injury, Leuta was named to the USA Rugby Selects team that played in the inaugural Americas Pacific Challenge at the developmental level in October of 2016. Nearly one month later, when the Men’s Eagles announced their roster for the November Test Series, Leuta was added to the mix and earned his first international test debut in XVs. When the 2016-17 HSBC World Sevens Series came around, Leuta made his return to the sevens scene at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens Tournament.”
https://www.usarugby.org/player/matai-leuta/

I asked Matai what CSUMB Rugby meant to him:

I play because I love it, there’s no other feeling like it and I enjoy every minute. CSUMB Rugby meant a lot because it gave young players (myself) a platform to showcase their talents but at the same time building a relationship with people you wouldn’t have expected to that will last long after rugby. I had an amazing experience playing at CSUMB and I learned so much. It wasn’t always good, we faced some tough times but that’s what MAKES experience worth remembering. It helped me get ready for the national team because I wanted to set that bar and be that example for anyone who wants to follow, but not just in rugby but in any path/career they choose that anything can be accomplished with belief, hard work and consistency.

After the UCSC game, October 2014

After the UCSC game, October 2014

 

Matai Leuta during Vegas 7s, 2018

 Matai Leuta during Vegas 7s, 2018

 

 

By: Jannicke Stien

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