He played a pivotal role in Southland's 2009 Ranfurly Shield victory over Canterbury, ending a 50-year losing streak for the team.
He tried his hand at American football after having a successful rugby and track career at King's College in Auckland.
His impressive gamesmanship with Southland led to a contract for the 2010 Super 14 season with the Highlanders.
His family was living in Fiji when he was born, but raised him in New Zealand; he would go on to represent Tonga in international rugby play.
He and Campese Ma'afu were contemporaries.