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Sitili answers your questions

Sitili Tupouniua sat down with Roosters Digital and answered a number of your questions to wrap up week one of the pre-season. 

Thanks to all the Roosters fans that submitted their questions for Sitili. 

GLENN BRYDEN: Sitili, when you first got the call up to make your NRL debut, how did you overcome first game nerves and what type of feedback did Robbo give afterwards?

Leading up to the debut, I felt like I was ready.

Talking to the coaching staff and that, they had all the belief in me.

I’d been 18th man a couple of times before that, I remember Robbo came up to me at training and said “are you ready?”

He told me I'd play, and I knew I was.

I didn’t actually get nervous that week, but probably the night before and when I was sitting on the bench.

I got out there in the second half, got an early carry, I didn’t do too much in that game.

I knew from there that it was the beginning, especially talking to the boys after the game.

Tupouniua on debut against the Melbourne Storm at Adelaide Oval in 2018.
Tupouniua on debut against the Melbourne Storm at Adelaide Oval in 2018.

LAUREN SIKA: Growing up, who did you look up to and why?

Aw man. I’ve always looked up to Sonny (Bill Williams), so I was buzzing to get to play with him.

To be honest, I actually looked up to one of my brothers Nela.

I used to look up to him, he was a mad player when I was growing up.

I used to watch his games and be like, “far out, he’s the man.”

Once I moved over to Australia, Boyd Cordner, Mitch Aubusson became guys I looked up to.

JOHN BOLWELL: How much did the influence of SBW assist your game and mentality to the game for the future?

He was the man.

I was buzzing when he first came, even though I didn’t want to show that too much.

He just helped me with my confidence.

He taught me a lot about backing myself and blocking out the outside noise.

He’s also helped with looking after my body, not so much with actually telling me but I was able to watch how he looked after himself, which was mad.

Tupouniua got to play alongside his hero growing up.
Tupouniua got to play alongside his hero growing up.

KUATETI TUPOUNIUA: How much time do you spend doing your hair? Lol

*Laughs* Next question.

To be honest, I don’t even spend that much time doing my hair.

I’ll wake up, wet it, give it a quick dry and chuck some cream in it.

JOSEPH MANU: (yes, it’s the one you’re thinking): Is it true that you were actually born a girl?

*Laughs* Brooooooo. Aw Joey ay?

Next question. Ask me about fishing tips mate, don’t worry about my hair.

Manu and Tupouniua have been best mates since coming through the grades together.
Manu and Tupouniua have been best mates since coming through the grades together.

THERESE STEPTO: My question is do you have a nickname because trying to sing out your name to support you is hard.

Everyone just calls me Tili or Tils, but Tili would be the go to.

WIKITERA BAKER: What would be your entrance song if you were to have a boxing match?

Oh man, that’s a good question.

I’ve actually thought about this one. I'm gonna say Meek Mill - Dreams and Nightmares.

NADER ANTOUN: Hi Sitili, we've seen you rise exceptionality in the last couple of years. What's the goal for 2021? What will you need to do to take your game to the next level?

For me, I want to be the starting back rower in the team, there’s no question about that.

For me to do that, I need to put my head down again and back myself 100%

JACOB SILLETT: Who is your favourite Roosters legend/player?

I love Boyd Cordner, he’s just ruthless man.

I’ve always loved him since coming up in the 20s.

Since I’ve moved over here I’ve looked up to him.

TRICIA BRYDEN: What did Barnsey say to you guys in the 2016 Holden Cup Grand Final half time break?

Aw man, I remember that really well.

He started off pretty calm, just letting us that we’re still in it.

Then he just lost it, started blowing up, spit was flying everywhere.

I just remember everyone looking at each other and thinking, “Man this guy is going off.”

It worked though!

BRONWYN TULIATU: Was it hard for you to move to Australia?

Yeah at first it was.

When I initially told my family that there was an opportunity for me to come here, it was hard.

But when I came here to the Roosters house and met all the boys it was easy.

It was like a family orientated place, heading here it was like a second family.

KADEN MIXTER: Do you remember your first match, if so what was the lead up like to the match?

I remember it, I remember the lead up like I said before being quite calm.

At half time, Robbo said to me that I need to get ready.

Frank Paul Nuuausala was on the side talking to me, revving me up.

I think the only thing I really remember is letting in that try, learned a lot from that.

DEAN KELLY: While you possess amazing agility, hard running and teamwork, your secret weapon is your head tape. Why and when did you first start wearing it?

It was in the Under 20s. Before that I was just wearing normal headgear.

When I stopped wearing that, I’d just tie my hair up but it kept falling out and getting in the way.

I just decided to tape it, I haven’t found a new hairstyle since then so I keep doing it.

It’s been working, so it’s all good.

Sitili wearing the signature head tape.
Sitili wearing the signature head tape.