Potu Leavasa

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Potu Leavasa "Back from the Dead"

Position: Forwards

Team: Southern barbarians

5 nations team: Pacific Island Chiefs and Old Blacks

Potu spent his younger years in and around Auckland. He went on to play in Counties where he played rugby with a young Jonah Lomu in 1994. Potu played for Weymouth Rugby Club between 1987 and 2001. He also played at Papatoe Rugby Club. In the Vic Masters you will see Potu running around in the forwards however in his younger years was a winger/centre.

Potu's work as a High Voltage linesman took him all over the world. Fond memories and one of his favorite destinations was Ireland where he settled for 2 years working as a high voltage Linesman. Potu played his Rugby at Donegal Rugby Club.

After 2 years in Europe, Potu returned to Australia to continue his work....

Work on the 22nd August 2006 started off like any other day as a High Voltage Linesman. He was given the all clear that a circuit high up on a power pole was de energized and proceeded to commence the regular maintenance works. As Potu put his hand on the line he was hit with 22,000 electric shock and was thrown on fire from the top of a power pole. The electric shock blew a hole in his armpit and a hole in his thigh. Not only did he have to deal with the electric shock from 22,000 volts, he had to survive the fall which fractured his kneck, broke his vertebrae, punctured his lung and cracked his ribs. He was flown to the Alfred hospital in critical condition in a coma. He has had 54 skin grafting surgeries, muscle transplants, nerve transplants and the list goes on. He suffered Heart damage, kidney and liver damage, lung damage, brain injury, a broken back and a diagnosis of you will never have arm or hand function. Today he has no feeling in one of his arms but componsates by carrying the ball in his other arm.

Many of you have played with and against potu who just gets on with it, loves his rugby and is happy to be alive and living every minute of his life.

During the rehabilitation Potu married his beautiful wife Sarah Kate in the hospital chapel which was usually reserved for funerals and last rites. In 2007 Potu and Sarah celebrated the birth of their first child - Maya, followed by Max who was born in 2011.

Between 2010 and 2012 Potu joined Southern as the major sponsor. Together with a dedicated coaching staff and players they took this little club to feature in the Grand Finals.

In 2012 Potu decided to put the boots back on and played in Southern 4th Grade up until 2014 featuring in Grand Finals 3 years in a row.

In 2016 the vic masters met Potu for the first time where he absolutely loves the Vic Masters and the spirit we play in. He enjoys the new friends he has made and is looking forward to getting the kids into the Vic Masters Kids club.

 

Ian Barker