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Hurricanes star Jeffery Toomaga-Allen on the opportunities God has given him.
Hurricanes rugby player Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
Posted January 24, 2013

Throughout his playing career, Hurricanes rugby star Jeffery Toomaga-Allen has been touted as a future All Black.

The young Wellington prop-forward’s development in the game has been watched with much interest over the years—now more than ever, having made a huge jump up the ranks. Toomaga-Allen has gone from playing for New Zealand at secondary schools and age-group level—including being part of the 2010 World Cup winning under-20 side—directly to professional Super Rugby.

He was picked in the 2012 Hurricanes squad and played in all 16 matches last season. It was an exciting break for the 21-year-old, the first Hurricane to be selected before he made his provincial debut—an opportunity he didn’t see coming.

‘When I first made the team, I was honestly shocked! It was an amazing moment, but a very surprising one as I was only playing club rugby at the time. It just doesn’t normally happen like that. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be playing Super Rugby until I was around 24, but I’ve already played one full season for the Canes and I’m only 21! Furthermore, to have played Super Rugby before the ITM Cup is a pretty big step.’

Having taken a much easier path to Super 15 rugby than most, Toomaga-Allen believes it wasn’t just his talent that got him playing amongst the best in the game—the opportunity was also a gift from God.

Toomaga-Allen says he’s always believed in God; he just didn’t always live by God’s ways. But after being invited to a church conference where a message on ‘wanting the cross’ touched his heart, Toomaga-Allen gave his life back to Jesus and changed his ways.

‘I felt God was speaking to me about defining myself, asking me to draw a line in the sand and to stop being a hypocrite by doing things like going out with the boys on Saturday nights and then going to church the next day hung over,’ he recalls. ‘That moment changed things for me. I realised I could actually have a relationship with God, and that I didn’t have to worry about judgement from anyone if I walked with Jesus.’

As well as giving God his life, Toomaga-Allen also surrendered his rugby ambitions—and that’s when he got his big break with the Hurricanes. He’s convinced God wants him to use any success in rugby to bring more fame to Jesus.

‘I believe God wants people to see him through me,’ says Toomaga-Allen. ‘That is why I believe God has pushed me to Super Rugby so quickly, to show people in the professional sporting industry—where there’s a drinking culture and party vibe—who Jesus is. That is now my drive, and it’s why I train hard and live the way Jesus wants me to.’

With one goal achieved, the 122kg big man dreams of donning the famous black jersey. He says he’ll push hard for it—and if it does happen, it will be in God’s timing. ‘An important Bible verse to me is Proverbs 16:9,’ says Toomaga-Allen. The verse says, In a man’s heart he plans his course, but the Lord determines his footsteps.

‘Even though I’ve reached my goal of playing Super Rugby, I have an even bigger aspiration: to be an All Black. I have no control over that dream except for doing things on the field and in the weights room. The rest is all in God’s hands.’

By John Lazo-Ron (abridged from War Cry 26 January 2013, p3)