Auckland's new midfield sensation Malakai Fekitoa has a real Boy's Own story to tell - how he's made it from Tonga's Ha'apai islands as one of 14 children to being one of the brightest stars of provincial rugby.
Fekitoa, who debuted for Auckland in the 36-29 win over Hawke's Bay on Thursday night, looks to have the potential to be the next big thing off the province's production line.
In recent years Auckland have produced the likes of Steven Luatua, Liaki Moli, Charles Piutau and Francis Saili - and Malakai could be the next talented player added to that list.
Just three years ago he was a 17-year-old who could not speak a word of English but plucked up enough courage to ask Wesley College for a trial while on holiday in New Zealand.
'I came here just to visit New Zealand to see some friends and I found out I'd be able to play first XV,' Fekitoa told Sunday News.
'So I went to ask Wesley for a scholarship, they gave me five minutes to play and I played the whole game.
'I just performed and gave it my all. They gave me that chance to stay, so I was happy."
With the scholarship sorted, Fekitoa moved to New Zealand while the rest of his family remained in Tonga although he admitted it was tough for him to be apart from them.
However, he never lost sight of the opportunity that was given to him and was determined to make the most of it.
"Everyone is in Tonga, except for me here, trying to play rugby," he said.
"It was tough, there was no-one to support me or help me. After training you go home and there's no food, so you have to look after yourself.
"I didn't know any English when I came, so I picked it up from the boys and also from my last two years at school."
"But my family are happy for all of my achievements and developments through the years.
"Every team I've made I've called to tell them and they've been so happy about it."
Fekitoa's goal is to play every game for Auckland this season and impress enough to pick up a Super Rugby contract next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News