Listen: How SKD helped ‘the next Israel Folau’ through pre-season

Tautau Moga burst onto the NRL scene as a 17-year-old at the Roosters.

At the time, was being branded a "young Israel Folau" in the making.

"I didn't really take any notice of that," he said of the Folau comparisons.

"It was pretty much just footy, just enjoying it. I didn't feel any hype or pressure. I just wanted to play first grade.

"At the time I was too young. I'm not a person to read papers anyway.

"I didn't really look into that."

Having been scouted by the Tricolours during an under 15s school carnival, Moga left Brisbane for Sydney to play in he under 20s competition.


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If it wasn't for NRL rules preventing 17-year-old's from playing first grade, former Roosters coach Brian Smith would've given Moga a start.

But shortly after turning 18, his opportunity came.

That was in 2012 but a year earlier he mightn't have made it through a torturous pre-season if not for his Newcastle Knights teammates Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

"That was pretty tough going from training 20s into first grade," he told the Our Town Our Team podcast.


"It was pretty brutal. All I remember was a lot of running.

"There was one session there where we almost ran seven or eight k's in one session but at the time Skids was there. Skids helped me out heaps.

"Just encouraging. He was pretty good."

Moga's career stalled shortly after his rookie season when he tore his ACL twice in 2013 at the age of 19.

He'd wind up having three knee reconstructions all before the age of 22.

Listen to the podcast above for the rest of his story!