Teen hopes to make Schoolboys trip
THE comparisons are obvious but Tautau Moga says he hasn’t heard them.
A strapping six foot-plus rugby league centre of Pacific Island heritage, Ipswich rugby league junior and former Marsden State High School student boasts phenomenal athletic ability and is carving them up at junior level.
Yet St Peter Claver College’s (SPCC) Moga says there is no way he would follow any further in the footsteps of his hero Israel Folau and switch codes to AFL.
Moga admits he was shocked just to be selected in the Queensland Schoolboys team to contest the national championships at Burleigh from July 11-16.
To many good judges, it came as no surprise.
Moga switched from Marsden High to SPCC this year to be closer to his Collingwood Park home.
The Springfield junior was snapped up by the Roosters three years ago after his performance in a grand final against Redbank Plains. He had to wait until this season, however, to experience the feeling of winning one.
That came in the SG Ball (under-18) competition, in which the Roosters defeated Parramatta 28-24 on May 8.
The 16-year-old admits it was the highest standard he had played.
“It’s more aggressive and faster as well,” he said. “I think I went pretty well.”
He adapted quickly because he was a whisker from getting called into the Roosters’ Titans Cup (under-20) team, which is his main goal next season.
The youngest of four boys, Moga grew up having to adapt if he was going to compete with his siblings. “It was (a good learning curve), playing a lot of back yard footy,” he said.
“Also going to watch them play.”
It is that ability to rise to the next level that gives him confidence he will achieve his goals.
In 2010 they are to win the Confraternity Shield with SPCC and make the Australian Schoolboys side to tour the UK at the end of the season. It was on the same tour four years ago that Folau made a huge impression.
Moga admits Foalu is his favourite player and is disappointed he is going to play AFL from next season.
“I wouldn’t take it,” he said of any offers to switch codes.
“He’s a good athlete but he’s made the wrong move to AFL.”
Moga concedes the signing is a coup for the rival code.
“Yeah, he’s a big influence,” Moga said.
“All the kids look up to him.”
In the long term, Moga wants to do well enough from rugby league to repay in part his biggest influence and supporter, his mum Tua. “She used to train me when I was young,” Moga revealed.
“She’d wake me up early to go for runs.”