News Release

Titans Rugby League Player Finds Strength in Faith and Family

Joe Vuna shares his comeback story after 2021 injury

Joe Vuna in training© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

A career-halting knee injury in late 2021 could have shattered dreams for a promising Gold Coast Titans rugby league player. Not for 24-year-old forward Joe Vuna, however, who not only came back to the team, but recently had his first top grade game against the Melbourne Storm.

“In my career with this type of injury, most players would tend to give up or lose faith in playing again,” says Vuna. The long road to recovery has not been easy. “Time away from the game I love affected me mentally, so I was always looking for ways to find comfort through my Heavenly Father.”

He found this strength through going to church every Sunday, praying every day, reading his scriptures, and attending the temple every month with his family.

“My faith has grown from this experience because it’s taught me a lot about patience. Doing all the basics, I was expecting to see blessings straight away, but being patient and having faith that Heavenly Father will bless at the right time has uplifted me and my faith during this trial.”

Joe Vuna and his wife, Hine, at the Brisbane Temple© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“My first goal after I served a mission was to play in the NRL, then get married. But I think Heavenly Father humbled me with my injury and changed my goals the other way around. So, I got married first before playing in the NRL again,” laughs Joe.”

Joe and his wife, Hine, were married during Covid, and sealed soon after in the Brisbane temple, all while recovering from his injury. “My wife has been my greatest support during this period,” recalls Joe. “If I had to go through this experience alone it would have been ten times harder for me. I have been blessed having her there to help through the challenges.”

Joe Vuna’s extended family and friends were also there to support his first match back (in just under two years) helping lift him even more in the Storm takedown.

“I had a few family members there on the weekend and even had my brother fly over from New Zealand to come watch,” Vuna said. “It definitely motivated me to play harder.”

After scoring his first NRL try in the contest, Vuna has continued to play for the Titans in the Queensland derby against the Cowboys, and most recently against the Dragons.

“Many scriptures have helped me during my recovery. With the ‘Come Follow Me’ scripture study for Sunday School, my wife and I learn from the experiences of those in the scriptures. Everything they’ve been through during their time - and their faith in overcoming trials - has given me strength to stay focused on my journey.”

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