Over the course of his high school and college sports career, Maui’s Vili Tolutau was named a rugby All-American six times.
Now in his rookie season at the pro level, the Baldwin High School graduate continues to collect the accolades.
The 24-year-old, who was a standout in track and football with the Bears, was named Major League Rugby’s Player of the Week.
“It’s a blessing, but I just try to go out there and do my thing and go out there and empty the gas tank and give it my all,” Tolutau told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
Tolutau helped guide the Seattle Seawolves to a win over Utah this past weekend, scoring two tries while being a brick wall on the defensive side with 28 tackles and three poach turnovers.
The MLR is in its inaugural season, and to be a part of it, Tolutau explains, is a dream.
“Rugby has provided the opportunity to go to college and show what I got,” he said. “I’m living a dream.”
A four-year captain at Central Washington, Tolutau joined the Maui Warriors club as a teenager. He was selected to the Boys’ High School All-Americans for two consecutive years before heading to Central Washington.
He hopes to help pave the way for more Hawaii athletes to have a future in rugby. “Honestly, I’m doing this for the kids back home,” he said. “Growing up, I didn’t really have a youth team until I got into high school, and I wanted to be that football star until I got introduced to rugby, and it put a smile on my face every time I step in the field, so I’m always having fun and trying to get the best out of it.”
Tolutau is finishing school while he stars as a rookie with the Seawolves. He is slated to graduate from Central Washington on June 9 with a degree in construction management.
On the season, Seattle is 3-1 ranked second in the seven-team league.
All games are streamed on ESPN+ with select games televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Tolutau’s next televised game is on June 2. The league playoffs start on June 30 with all postseason games airing on CBSSN.