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Ex-Castleford Tigers and Hull FC Kiwi heads into coaching

Motu Tony initially made his name as a New Zealand Warrior, making his debut back in 2001.

But, a move to the UK in 2004 with Castleford Tigers as he tried – in vain – to help the West Yorkshire club stay in Super League helped kickstart a career on British shores.

Following Castleford’s relegation – and after nine appearances – Tony moved to Hull FC where he registered 100 appearances for the Black and Whites.

A move to Wakefield Trinity followed after five seasons at Hull, before the Kiwi retired.

But, Tony has since looked back fondly on where he came from.

“I started playing when I was like six, so that’s 13 years I’d been grinding and working towards this dream and it finally happened,” he told RNZ.

“I was terrified at first but then I got excited because I wanted to challenge myself against these guys that I’d seen on TV.  Players like Stacey Jones, Jerry Seuseu, Ali Lauiti’iti, these guys were awesome players and I wanted to prove myself to them.”

“And you know, my family, my mum, she probably would have told everyone in Māngere that her son was playing for the Warriors too.”

Tony has admitted that without Auckland-based college, De La Salle, his pathway to the top may well never have opened. And, after a period of time without rugby league there and with some help from another De La Salle graduate and former Wigan Warriors star, George Carmont, 2021 saw rugby league return for the first time in 22 years.

“How lucky are we to get a chance to give back to the game, but to also hopefully help people in other parts of their lives too.

“When you can see some of the changes that you’ve observed with some of the boys in your team to where they are now, that’s what makes it all rewarding for us.”

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