Digital Image by Robb Cox ©nrlphotos.com: Sam Tagataese during the Samoan Haka :Representative Rugby League; Fiji V Samoa Test Match, Sportingbet Stadium, Saturday the 3rd of May 2014.

Sam Tagataese is a gentle giant of the National Rugby League.

The softly spoken front rower is polite, well-manned and softly spoken. This is part of what makes him one of the “nice guys” of our great game.

His work in the community, which saw him crowned the Ken Stephen Medalist of 2017, is another reason why “Taga” is so respected in the game.

To now be selected in the Samoan team is yet another string to his bow.

Having debuted for his nation of heritage in 2013, Tagataese’s international career has been sporadic, playing a total of three tests in that time.

Considering he debuted for the Melbourne Storm in 2007, this seems to be a long time “between drinks” for the powerful forward however time in and out of the top grade would have played it’s part in this.

However, Tagataese is much more than simply your on-field footballer. He is a rounded human who embraces every aspect of what is expected of the modern day footballer.

A devoted family man and dedicated contributed to the community, Tagataese now gets the chance to represent the country of his family’s heritage on the grandest stage of all – the Rugby League World Cup.

With a first up clash against New Zealand at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday, October 28, Tagataese’s Samoa will be looking for a big showing early to get their campaign off to a good start.

And with plenty of attention being placed on Australia, England, the Kiwis and now Tonga, expect the silent style of Tagataese and his Samoan teammates to bring the power game when it matters.