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, adapting in learning English and the New Zealand way of life.

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 Lavea Levi and taught Samoan culture, sold her food products at markets and served the local Church as well as sitting on boards in Dunedin and Auckland.

My Father is from Savai'i villages Safotu, Papasataua and Upolu Satalo Falealili district. He worked in the New Zealand Railways industry for fourteen years and transitioned into working in Auckland's land and titles office leading a team in the 1990s. At the same time he pursued a higher calling and went through the process of being accepted into University studies, first through St Johns Auckland. In his 40s he  continued onto Knox theological hall in Dunedin and was  ordained as a New Zealand Presbyterian Minister completing his Theology Degree and Post Graduate qualifications.

My parents sacrifices and hard work gave myself and my siblings greater opportunities in education and career pathways. Following the footsteps of my Father both I and my sister Agnes completed our Degrees through the University of Otago. Older brother Tupa’i Lelei Lonny completed his Masters Degree studies in Auckland University and my younger brother 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 Huntly before moving to Glen Innes Auckland and to Dunedin. Filipo attended Dunedin North Intermediate, Logan Park High School before joining Otago Boys' High School. Playing alongside the likes of Erik Nosa, Silao Vaisola Sefo, Ryan Martin, Jason Kawau and future All Black's Captain Richie McCaw. Otago Boys 1st XV were the first team from the South Island to have won and shared the Top 4 National 1st XV competition in 1998.
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 played alongside the likes of future All Blacks  Carl Hayman, Keven Mealamu, Mils Muliaina,  Aaron Mauger,  Clarke Dermody, Ben Blair, Rodney So' oialo, Jerry Collins and Richie McCaw.Manu Samoan members Seilala Mapusua, and Gavin Williams.

Levi played for his local Dunedin club Alhambra Union from 1999-2007, Otago Rugby 2000-2006 the Highlanders 2002-2007 and the Tasman Makos 2011-2012. In 2002 Filipo was a Standby All Black and then went on to represent the Pacific Island Rugby Team in 2004 and 2006 then Manu Samoa 2007-2011. Filipo Captained Manu Samoa in 2008 and final game against Ikale Tahi Tonga in 2011.

Professional Career

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.
Wales based Ospreys signed Filipo from Japanese side Ricoh Black Rams for the 2008–09 Magners League. In 2009 Filipo then signed for Premiership side Newcastle Falcons as primarily a back row player for two seasons.. 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 local club games for Auckland Marist Tamaki in 2012-2013. In 2016 Filipo Coached Auckland Marist Tamaki Premiers Mens and finished in 2018. In 2019 Filipo coached 1st XV Aorere College in South Auckland and then 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

In 2013 Filipo made his transition from professional Rugby to life dedicated to helping adult learners in South Auckland to improve their lives with education and employment. Between 2014-2018 Filipo transitioned into Partnership Schools in West Auckland as a Community Liaison Manager helping young people and families in taking away barriers to success in education.

Filipo is part of the Manu Samoa Old Boys Association helping former Samoan Rugby players in life after Rugby. Formed in 2017 the organisation assists in a unique Samoan way. From educational organisation's to helping former rugby players in life after sport, Filipo is passionate on paying it forward and giving back with serving others.

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.
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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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