Frankie Winterstein

Frank Winterstein is a professional Rugby player from Australia of Samoan Heritage who primarily plays Rugby league as a second rower. He represents Samoa at International level and made his debut for the team known as Toa Samoa or the Samoan Warriors in the Federation shield in 2005. Since then has played numerous times and been involved in 2 World cups including in 2017. Frank has also proudly represented Australia at International level in Rugby Union as part of the Rugby sevens team. Domestically Frank currently plays for the Manly Sea Eagles in the Australian NRL. He has played both Rugby Union and League in Australia in the NRL, in England in the Super league and has also played in Japan.

Frank told us he started playing Rugby league when he was just 5 years old. His school had given out brochures for the local team and Frankie excitedly took one home to show his Father. His Father could see his enthusiasm and so agreed to take him to the club that very afternoon. He remembers having so much fun and from that day he just wanted to play Rugby league. As he got older he didn’t really think about becoming a professional, all he cared about was having fun.

As Frank grew up though, things suddenly changed. He recalled that as he got into his teenage years, people were starting to notice his talent and he knew that suddenly there was a real possibility of Rugby becoming his dream job and with various NRL clubs chasing his signature, his God given dream was suddenly placed completely in his hands.

Frank fulfilled that dream and recalled how his faith and upbringing drove him to stay fully focused, through so many difficult times, on the success he now has. He said. “We never had much as a family growing up but somehow my parents always managed to make ends meet. Through my childhood is where I first discovered God & really felt a connection. I know with all that I have, none of that would be possible without the love of God and know I’m blessed. I believe that and know it. Even when I missed out on selections in representative teams or got injured, there was that immediate disappointment but I knew shortly after, everything happens for a reason and that I had to trust the process and continue to march forward, I knew through sport & in life in general that Gods plan would always prevail.”

The fact is things could have turned out very differently. Many of his friends at the time were making poor decisions that meant that even though they were much more gifted than Frank, one by one they were falling by the wayside. Frank would learn a lot of hard lessons himself but importantly watching his friends throw their gifts away he had to make the decision that he would also learn from their mistakes and follow his own path and alongside a strict Samoan upbringing from his parents, that was enough to keep him out of trouble.

Frank was keen to let others and you guys reading know, that it doesn’t matter about your background and upbringing, you can still pursue your wildest dreams and that he had done exactly the same, through hard work and having faith in the love of God. His final words and message for you all was this “There’s no shortcut to a place worth going, so you should always enjoy the challenge, knowing that It will be tough … but giving up on the end prize will be tougher. Believe In yourself and know that God is with you every step of the way“.

Frank will now look to have a great rest of the season with Manly and wants to just continue playing well in order to represent himself and his family with pride every time he steps out for club or country. Whether that will be for both and in which big games we’ll have to wait and see but we’ll certainly be cheering him on and hope he’ll fulfil every ambition he has as he continues to move forward into the future.