D1A Rugby Player of the Week – Vili Helu

D1A Rugby: D1A Rugby Player of the Week – Vili Helu
Photo Credit: Mike Geib

BOULDER, Colo. – With plenty of skilled upperclassmen sealing the majority of spots on Saint Mary’s first XV, there aren’t many opportunities for freshmen to run with the reigning National Champions’ top-side. However, that is not the case for number eight Vili Helu.

Just a freshman, Helu has cemented himself as a starter in the Gaels’ back row. Possessing an exceptional combination of both size and speed, the newcomer from Northern California has the makings of an elite eight man. Most recently, Helu scored four tries in Saint Mary’s 98-3 win over UC Santa Barbara.

It shouldn’t be too shocking that Helu has been immediately thrust into the Gaels starting lineup. The freshman gained quality experience in the months leading up to his arrival on the Moraga campus, starring for both the USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans on a tour to Argentina, as well as the Boys Youth Olympic Games squad that competed in Nanjing, China.