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'She's a bit of rock star' - South Auckland teen Alysia Lefau Fakaosilea making waves on Australia's rugby sevens scene

South Auckland rugby talent, Alysia Lefau Fakaosilea is set to ink a new Australian Rugby women's sevens contract and move another step closer in playing on the World Sevens series circuit.

The 18-year-old New Zealand born flyer made her mark on the rugby scene in February 2018, with a heroic performance at the Brisbane Tens women's tournament playing for the Queensland Reds.

She single handedly changed the momentum of this year's women's final between the Reds and NSW, making a crunching tackle in extra time on her opposite which then led to a turnover, before scoring the match winning try.

Quiet and humble, Lefau Fakaosilea considers herself as just a normal South Auckland kid blessed with opportunities that have been given to her.

"Didn't think that I will be in this kind of position where I am today, but yeah just got to know where I come from – Otara," said Lefau Fakaosilea.

Donning the gold jersey and playing against the country of her birth has taken a while to get used to for the rising Australia sevens star.

"It is (weird being back in Auckland) but it is good to see family and friends. I didn't think I will be playing against New Zealand, the country that I was aiming to play for.

In her early teens while living in Auckland, the former Howick College student dreamed of becoming a professional athlete in a different code.

"I actually played netball, I was going towards that but then rugby came in. But my dream was to play for the Black Ferns."

Lefau Fakaosilea's Brisbane Tens video highlights blew up on social media, with her final heroics video garnering over 1.3 million views online.

"I just woke up and was like 'is that me?' I was just pretty shocked. I went down and when I got up I was just like 'what did I just do?'
I was just really nervous after that, I was just trying to keep to myself."

She has excellent rugby pedigree, her two uncles are former Wallabies lock Will Skelton and former All Black Mils Muliaina.

Lefau-Fakaosilea says her family living in New Zealand still support her although she has opted to represent Australia.

"They're really supportive now and my family has been buying a lot of Aussie gears, so yeah it's good to have their support.

Her 2018 season has gone from strength to strength and with her growing popularity, the Otara native says she tries to limit her social media presence.

"My dad handles that (direct messages on social media platforms), I dunno I don't really post that much. I don't like to throw myself out there," she said.

"I just like to keep to myself and be the same girl I was before the Brisbane Tens and before everything started."

Australian U18 women's sevens coach Lachlan Parkinson has seen Lefau Fakaosilea's remarkable rise in the sport of sevens and expects big things in her future.

"So she brings that power punch that running value. She's got that star power that kind of gets the other girls up when they are on the field with her," said Parkinson.

"She brings leadership and experience to our team which is really important for some of our younger girls.

"So we are really excited to have Alysia in our team – I'm sure she will step up for us for the weekend."

Lefau Fakaosilea has been named as co-captain for the Australian team in this weekend's World School 7s tournament at Pakuranga in Auckland.

"Obviously the Brisbane Tens is the one that most people know, but in Australia she's a bit of rock star for a fair few things," said Parkinson.

"Across the AON University (sevens) series she was a standout, she made the dream team which is pretty exciting for a 17-year-old to get into that dream team across the series.

"She's got a fair bit of pull in Australia as a superstar sevens player, we are very lucky to have her in a team."

Lefau Fakaosilea signed with Australian Rugby last year and is set to be eligible to play for Australia midway through next year, after dealing with her residency paperwork.

"She goes down and trains with the team (Australia women's sevens side) in the lead-up to World Series tournaments. She's still going through her residency requirements, so that comes up in about April next year.

"I think once she gets her eligibility ticked off she will be straight into that team. But it has been a great learning experience for her, a couple of years training with some of the best players in the world."

Lefau-Fekaosilea joined the Australian team in their last leg of the Sevens World Series in Dubai earlier this month, taken as a development player in the squad.

"I've seen her increase her skills and her maturity. I think she is probably ready now to step up to that next level."

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The 18-year-old has only played rugby for a few years and is touted for big things. Source: 1 NEWS