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Broncos centre Tautau Moga during his club debut in Round 1.

As journalists it's in our nature.

When you speak to someone – anyone – the compulsion is to look for the drama because that is inherently where the good stories lie in the shadows, waiting to be discovered.

Fronts that many players wear in front of the media in the modern game can often mask what is really going on in their lives and fans are left to connect with jerseys and not the players found within.

Sitting down for a chat with Broncos centre Tautau Moga has throughout his career brought up a multitude of opportunities to explore the psyche of a young man tipped to be the 'Next Big Thing' but who had injuries cruel his journey.

NRL rules prevented Moga from making his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters at 17 years of age in 2011 and five years after becoming an NRL player he lines up against his former club for just the second time when the Broncos host the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Due to three knee reconstructions in less than four years there have been only 37 games over the space of six seasons for Moga but 12 months after his latest comeback he is playing regular NRL football again.

But did he doubt that he would ever make it back at all?

"Just having that one game [for the Cowboys in 2016] got my mindset right that I could come back," the 23-year-old explained.

When Broncos coach Wayne Bennett explained Moga's absence from the squad that travelled to England for the World Club Series in February as being for "personal reasons" the potential for a heart-wrenching storyline also emerged.

What was it that kept him from making the trip?

"My wife was pregnant and we were due for our first one so it was hard not to go but you've got to do what you've got to do," Moga told

"She was due on the 20th but she came a bit later."

Zara is now a happy and healthy one-month old baby girl who Moga says has "opened his eyes" and provided a new sense of purpose in his life.

So did her impending birth and not earning a new contract with the Cowboys make Moga concerned as to how he was going to provide for Zara and his wife Toni?

"Not really. It all just happened and worked out," Moga said of his two-year deal with Brisbane that was announced at the end of October.

"They had a lot of outside backs [at the Cowboys] and obviously 'Reedy' (Jack Reed) retired here so I came down here for an opportunity."

Throughout the pre-season it appeared as though Jordan Kahu would be given first crack at the left centre position and be partnered by David Mead on the wing before Bennett sprung a surprise for Round 1 and handed Moga his club debut.

Was he surprised to feature in a Round 1 NRL fixture for the first time in his career?

"Everyone tries to push for a spot, I just put in the hard yards and it popped up," he said of his call-up to face the defending premiers, Cronulla, in the season-opener.

He hasn't missed a minute of the five games since and is reigniting a combination on Brisbane's left edge with former St Peter Claver College teammate Anthony Milford that could prove to be devastating as the season goes on.

"It's good being back with 'Milf'. He's obviously a star player and hopefully our combination can come right soon and we can keep playing footy together."

Off the field there have been minor incidents that have caught the ire of the constabulary; firstly the issuing of a public nuisance ticket after an incident outside a Brisbane nightclub prior to the start of the 2014 Four Nations tournament and then his involvement in Jason Taumalolo's egg-throwing escapades in Townsville late last year for which he was fined $2,500 by the club.

Not even a minor heart scare at training a fortnight ago could slow his progression.

Yes, for the first time in his NRL career Tautau Moga is just your average, run-of-the-mill regular first grader with his personal life in order, and that's just how he likes it.


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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