Inga Tuigamala's fabled career given life in traditional Samoan Tatau

They're two of the most famous legs in world rugby, but now Inga Tuigamala is using them to record his career, receiving a traditional Samoan Tatau.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The 19-Test All Black spent eight hours a day over a week in the traditional process. Source: 1 NEWS

Over the last two decades, Tuigamala's career has taken many twists and turns. From 42 Tests matches for the All Blacks and Manu Samoa, a switch to rugby league, with another two caps for Toa Samoa, boxing to promote men's health and two promising business ventures that ended abruptly.

"I like to think that my journey and tattoo reminds me of those highs and lows," he told 1 NEWS.

"But then where you're going and what you're doing about it.

"I know what it's like to be poor. I know what it's like to be famous and I know what it's like to have a lot of money, but that doesn't define you."

That's the sort of character needed to receive a Tatau, requiring eight-hour sessions over the course of a week with Tufunga Liaifaiva.

"People ask me 'you're old why are you getting it?' But unless you know who I am and where I come from, what I represent, then you truly won't know."

While Tuigamala no longer plays, for six years he's been living in Samoa, passionate about lifting it's rugby programme."

A coaching philosophy based on lessons learned over his 50 years.

"I can see that there are areas where I think I can contribute, even if it's as assistant coach or coaching in some capacity.