Not content with trying to build a rugby league career, Vodafone Junior Warriors back rower Matiu Love-Henry has also been turning his hand to helping to build Auckland.
The 19-year-old from Taupo recently finished work on the first floor of a high rise building in the Wynyard Quarter in Central Auckland.
Signed by Vodafone Warriors in 2013, Love-Henry made eight appearances in his debut season in the NYC in 2014 and has played all nine matches so far this year.
While training under three different NYC coaches, he has also sat through three different qualifications.
As a member of the John Ackland-coached squad in 2013, Love-Henry completed a certificate in sports leadership.
When he was part of Stacey Jones’ 2014 NYC premiership-winning team he did a certificate in business and this year, with Kelvin Wright as his NYC coach, Love-Henry is doing a carpentry apprenticeship.
He’s employed by Bridge City Interior and Construction, owned by Mount Albert Lions stalwart and celebrity boxing trainer Mark Bedford.
Fluent in Maori, Love-Henry sees the building trade as the key element in his future beyond rugby league.
“I see myself teaching in a kura (Maori school) one day and maybe I can teach building,” he said.
“I would love to be able to tell school kids how I built my own place.”
For now he’s mixing his interest in building with his passion for rugby league. He’s one of the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ top try-scorers with seven touchdowns in nine games and he’s also among the leading players for metres gained (topping 1000 metres in total and averaging close to 120 metres a game).