Mormons in rugby: Answering the call

By Trent Toone

Mormon Times

Published: Thursday, May 19 2011 3:30 a.m. MDT

“My religion has been everything to me. Without it I would not be where I am,” the Brisbane Bronco told the media before he left in 2010. “I want to spread … my religion to other places so it can help others like it has helped me. I will put my sporting blessings on hold to honor my religion for two years.”

Setu is currently preaching the gospel in England. His family told the Queensland Times in late April that his mission is going well.

Cooper reports that several players with ties to the Brisbane Broncos have served missions. Tevita Folau served a mission in Hong Kong. Fraser Anderson, who played for the Broncos, served in the Philippines and is now playing rugby in Japan.

Ben Hannant has played for Brisbane and is a member of the church.

One of the most popular players in Australia right now is Israel Folau, who also plays for the Broncos. He is a lifelong member of the church but has not yet decided to serve a mission.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently highlighted the story of Sid Going, a Mormon and one of the greatest-ever running halfbacks to play for the New Zealand All Blacks, in his talk in the April general conference priesthood session. Elder Andersen met the rugby legend recently on a trip to Sydney because Going and his wife are serving a mission as a couple. They talked about Super Sid’s decision to serve a mission to Canada as a young man instead of accepting a roster spot with the All Blacks.

“The blessing of (bringing others) into the gospel far outweighs anything (you) will ever sacrifice,” Going told Elder Andersen.

Going also recently met with Australia’s up-and-coming LDS rugby players and told them the most important things in life are not material possessions.

“The most important step right now is for you to surround yourself with good friends who will not influence you away from your standards and family values,” Going said.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com

Twitter: tbtoone

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