Home is where the heart is
TO SAY family is important to Sydney Roosters forward Lama Tasi is possibly the understatement of the year.
Anyone who has the opportunity to sit down and chat to the former Goodna Eagles enforcer will quickly find out family comes first, second and last on his list of priorities.
It's not surprising then the Auckland born 21-year-old was smiling from ear to ear this week as he spent Christmas with his family at their Goodna home.
The oldest of seven children, Lama said he was finally getting used to life in Sydney but Goodna is never far from his thoughts.
"It (Sydney) was hard at the start, but at the end of the day you just have to think you're doing it for your family and yourself," Lama said.
"I come home whenever I can.
"Obviously during the off-season, whenever I get a couple of days off or even when we have the bye."
Lama will return to Sydney next week after enjoying a 10-day break with proud dad Faasaai, mum Sialaia and siblings Sia, 19, Tautaltasi, 17, Sani, 15, Faatali, 13, Anne-Marie, 10 and Laki 8.
But he may not be alone at the Roosters for long.
After graduating from Ipswich Grammar School last month, 17-year-old Tautaltasi is also packing his bags for Bondi as he prepares to trial with the Roosters S.G. Ball development side.
With 15-year-old Sani also on the Roosters books, the Tasi family may soon have a home away from home in the New South Wales capital.
Big brother Lama said he was excited about the prospect of having his younger brother at the club.
"It would be exciting - everything would change," he said. "We'd have to get a place together."
For now, Lama will focus on building a name for himself after his breakout season in the NRL this year.
One thing is certain though, this family man's heart will remain in Goodna long after his plane lands back in Sydney.