Filipo Levi's Story.

Filipo Levi is a former international rugby captain and expert in helping leaders build stronger, more resilient teams.

Following His Father's Footsteps

My parents migrated from Samoa in the 1970s. During this period Pacific Peoples flooded into New Zealand to help the shortage of blue collared workers and to grow the economy. As new migrants they faced new challenges and a different culture. They adapted to learning English and the Aotearoa New Zealand way of life was very difficult but they pursued their goals to provide for their family.

My Mother Ioana was born in raised in the village of Faleasiu in Samoa. She helped her Father Tumaua Filipo Fonoti with the farm in producing crops, raising and taking care of the animals and vegetation for the markets and serving the village. She raised her five children alongside my Father Reverend Fogatia Levi and taught Samoan culture and served the local Church as well as sitting on boards in Dunedin and Auckland. My Father is from Savai'i Samoa. He worked in the Railways industry and left this job to pursue University studies, first through St Johns in his 40s and then continued onto Knox theological hall in Dunedin in the early 1990s. He then trained and was  ordained as a New Zealand Presbyterian Minister completing his Theological training. Their sacrifices and hard work gave myself and my siblings greater opportunities in education and career pathways.

Myself and my sister Agnes are Otago graduates and my older brother Tupa’i Lelei Lonny Levi completed his Masters Degree studies in Auckland University and my younger brother Levi Junior Tia Levi completed his Media Design School qualifications. Nelson Mandela's words ring true that Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Like my Father our World changed for the better with my parents faith and sacrifices.

Humble Beginnings

Filipo grew up in Glen Innes Auckland before moving to Dunedin where his Father Reverend Fogatia Lavea Levi was accepted into University of Otago Knox Theological Studies. He attended Logan Park High School before joining Otago Boys' High School where they were the first team from the South Island to have won the national 1st XV competition in 1998, playing alongside future All Black Captain Richie McCaw.
In 2000 Filipo was selected in the Highlanders Colts team who won the national competition and was then selected for the New Zealand Colts that won the 2000 U21 World Cup in New Zealand. Filipo played alongside the likes of Carl Hayman, Keven Mealamu, Mils Muliaina, Seilala Mapusua, Aaron Mauger, Gavin Williams, Clarke Dermody, Ben Blair, Rodney Sooialo, Jerry Collins and Richie McCaw.

Later in 2000 Filipo made his debut for Otago as a 21 year old and was called into the Highlanders in 2001 as cover. He eventually made the 2001 NPC team and selected into the Highlanders in 2002 until 2007.

Professional Career

Filipo played for the local Dunedin club Alhambra Union from 1999-2007 and for Otago Rugby 2000-2006. Levi signed for Super 12 side the Highlanders in 2002 and went on to become one of their most capped players finishing in 2007.
Filipo was part of the Manu Samoa squad at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but a severe eye socket injury forced him out of the tournament. He was a member of the Manu Samoa squad at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and played his final game winning against Fiji at Eden Park.
In 2008 Filipo took over the Manu Samoa captaincy after long time captain Semo Sititi focused on playing and all but retired from International duties. In 2011 Filipo again Captained Manu Samoa against Ikale Tahi Tonga in Fiji before playing the Wallabies Australian Rugby team where Manu Samoa were victorious in Sydney.
Filipo relocated to the UK and In February 2009 the Ospreys signed him from Japanese side Ricoh Black Rams At the end of the 2008–09 Magners League he signed for Premiership side Newcastle Falcons as primarily a back row player. In November 2011 Nottingham signed him from Newcastle Falcons until the end of the 2011–12 RFU Championship.
Filipo played his final NPC games for Tasman Makos in 2011 and 2012 season. Filipo played for his local club games for Auckland Marist Tamaki in 2012-2013. In 2016 Filipo Coached Auckland Marist Tamaki and finished in 2018 and is involved with College Rifles Premier Rugby since 2019-2020.

Biggest hits

Filipo has been known for some massive hits throughout his career. Here's a quick look at some notable moments.

Making The Transition

Filipo made his transition from a life dedicated to rugby to a life dedicated to helping others and motivating others to uplift their community. From educational organisations to helping former rugby players in life after sport, Filipo is keen on paying it forward and giving back.

Filipo is part of the Manu Samoa Old Boys Association helping former Samoan Rugby players in life after Rugby. Formed in 2017 the organistion assists in a unique Samoan way.

Making an impact

In 2018 Filipo Founded the RUBC Rugby Union Business Club. RUBC is a social initiative in supporting Rugby players in their transitioning and starting their businesses and careers. RUBC is a metaphor of surrounding a Rugby player with mentors, business coaches, financial advisors and entrepreneurs to plan to succeed in life after sport. When the spotlight fades, RUBC is filling this gap to continue the team in life after Rugby.
More about making an impact...

Empowering People

Filipo is a natural leader having captained various local and international rugby teams from 2000 - 2013.  
He understands what it takes for teams to perform in high pressure situations. Having played against some of the most revered teams and players in the world, he has experienced the sheer physical and mental intensity needed to face such monumental challenges
Filipo has translated this experience into various high performance programs, helping clients unleash their True potential and paving the way towards both personal and professional success.
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Filipo's better half

Filipo currently resides in Auckland, New Zealand where he is happily married to Nats Levi, a 6'2 Fitness guru and rockstar, Award Winning Expert- Author,  International Speaker, Presenter, Coach and founder of the Fierce Family .
More about Nats...

Samoan Heritage

According to legend, Samoa is known as the “Cradle of Polynesia” because Savai‘i island is said to be Hawaiki, the Polynesian homeland. Samoan culture is undoubtedly central to Filipo's life.  In 2011 Filipo was bestowed with the ancient Samoan chief Tulafale-orator speaking title of Mulitalo from the village of Lano in Savai'i Samoa. The Samoan chief system is over 3000 years and a Tulafale chief title is one to lead by serving the people.

In The media

Filipo continues to spend time in the spotlight and enjoys sharing his insights gained from his life in Rugby.

Want to know more?

Say Hello! Filipo is an all round great guy. Don't hesitate to get in contact with him and see for yourself.
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