FUKUOKA, 9 Oct - Having gone from selling bread and fish at his local village market to playing at the Rugby World Cup, Logovii Mulipola wants to take a new generation of props on a similar journey.

The 32-year-old, pictured, who has played professionally in England since 2011, did not decide to take rugby seriously until his late teens after putting all his early energy into his family to help make ends meet.

"My mum used to bake fa'apapa (traditional Samoan bread) and then me and my brother went to sell it at the market," said Mulipola. "My dad used to fish and we used to sell the fish there, too.

"I love to do it now when I go back home. We go to the market and sell the fish and everything else there.

"It's pretty tough coming back home because everyone there in Samoa, especially my family, is poor. We are poor families where everyone has to work.

"But we're not poor in life - we are rich in family spirit. That's just the way we've grown up, helping the parents and the siblings."

 Mulipola, who started in Samoa's matches against Russia and Scotland, will never forget the endless rugby games in his village, Manono-Tai.

"We could start being three to four people, then we'd end up being 16-17 in each team, with all the kids and the older guys.

"Then we'd start tackling each other and things would go really well for you if you were good. That's where we start with the contact. It starts in the village. If you don't pass that, you don't go anywhere."

In 2009, the prop moved to New Zealand to play for Hawkes Bay and, two years later, he signed with Leicester Tigers in England, where he played until last year when he joined Newcastle Falcons.

One of the big motivations was being able to support his relatives financially.

"I have a massive family. Every month I've sent money back to my home and I have always been happy to do it - it's not something that I have had to do."

He has seen big improvements in Pacific Islands rugby and hopes one day to be able to help develop young players.

"I would love to be part of building up rugby in Samoa, especially in my position.

"I know that in Samoa not a lot of people want to play prop and maybe I could help teach them techniques and what I've learned back in Leicester and Newcastle. Just to help the generations coming up to become good."

While back in Samoa, Mulipola could perhaps also get to play some more of the village games he  loves so much.

"I really miss the old days. Having fun and smashing people."

RNS pl/sg/mj/sw/mr