Australia loves its rugby players.
That includes Mormon rugby players.
Lagi Setu, recently returned from his LDS mission, was recently featured in Brisbane’s Couriermail.com.au. Setu has been working to regain his pre-mission form for the Melbourne Storm despite whispers from doubters. He doesn’t want to be known as “that Mormon guy.” He wants to earn a reputation for playing hard in competition.
“Everyone does just think of me as that Mormon guy and that’s fine, I get it, but I would like be thought of as someone who is playing good footy,” Setu told Chris Garry of The Courier-Mail. “I have long way to go but I hope people start to focus on me as just an NRL player.
“I have a lot of goals in football I want to achieve. This is just the start.”
Jordan Smiler is another rugby player receiving attention in the Australian media. Smiler was the subject of a recent article in the Canberra Times by Chris Dutton. After serving a mission, stints with the Australian and New Zealand teams, and even working as a landscaper, Smiler is now playing for the ACT Brumbies. His debut came less than a year after he considered giving up on his professional rugby dream. He was ready to go back to school or take a job as a miner in Western Australia before he received a call from the Brumbies.
“I wasn’t expecting anything when I came to train with the Brumbies [last year] and then Jake phoned me up,” Smiler told Dutton. “It was my last shot, I didn’t have anything to lose and if I didn’t make any Super Rugby squad this year I probably would have hung up the boots professionally.
“I thought I was good enough, I just needed to be given a shot … now I’m here this is an opportunity to show I’m good enough.”
Although not a professional, a man who loves rugby has been featured in the “I’m a Mormon” campaign by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Mormon.org. In a video, a man only identified as John, a sales manager from Durham, England, talks about his life, his family, his faith and his passion for the sport of rugby.