20 Dec 2022
NZRL mourns the loss of Kiwi #545 Gasetoa Fepulea’i – known as Gus or Toa – who passed away last week. 
Fepuleai represented New Zealand on the 1978 tour of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Though he was unable to force his way into the Test team, the centre/winger enjoyed a fruitful trip with four tries in eight minor tour matches.
Born in Western Samoa, Fepulea’i attended Seddon High School (now Western Springs College) and made an immediate impact on the Auckland Rugby League scene with Richmond Rovers, taking out the 1976 Tetley Trophy as the competition’s top tryscorer. He broke into the Auckland team in 1978 before earning Kiwis selection and played at provincial level until 1982.
Further Kiwis call-ups eluded Felupeai but he twice turned out against the 1979 Great Britain Lions, for Auckland and New Zealand Māori.
Felupea’i helped Richmond to its drought-breaking 1979-80 Fox Memorial triumphs. Finishing his club career with stints at Glenora and Manukau, he later served as the Rovers’ chairman and was a much-admired servant of the club.
NZRL extends its heartfelt condolences to Toa’s friends and family.