Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Levi Has Faith in the Falcons; Club's Fate Is in God's Hands, Claims Samoan Star

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Levi Has Faith in the Falcons; Club's Fate Is in God's Hands, Claims Samoan Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

WHEN Filipo Levi says that his sporting future is "all in God's hands" the Newcastle Falcons lock is not just resorting to sporting cliche.

A committed Christian, the Samoan international spent Easter Saturday evangelising to the Tyneside public before joining his fellow church-goers on yesterday's field trip to Penshaw Monument.

The 31-year-old, who made his 10th start of the season in the 24-13 home loss to the champions, said: "Easter is a really important time, but with having the Leicester Tigers game on Good Friday I did not get the chance to go to church before the match.

"I went for lunch in Gosforth, though, before going to the stadium, and there was a little service going on which I stood and watched.

"We heard the prayers and the bible verses about why the Lord came down in the form of Jesus and how he died for our sins.

"Then on Easter Saturday myself, my Falcons team-mate Euan Murray and another friend of ours were evangelising in Newcastle trying to preach the gospel to the people.

"We talked about why Jesus came here, died for our sins and why we need to be saved." Raised as a preacher's son in New Zealand's city of Dunedin, Levi's two seasons at Kingston Park are almost at an end, with the 25-times-capped Samoan forward typically circumspect about his next destination.

"It is all in God's hands," was his response when asked what lies in store for a career which has already taken in Japan and Wales as well as his current home.

Quite rightly, Levi is of the belief talk about his future destination can wait until the current battle is won, with his Newcastle Falcons side still only separated from Leeds Carnegie at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership on points difference.

"Playing against Leicester last Friday was a big step up from Northampton the week before, just in terms of the intensity of the whole game," said Levi, who started the televised encounter in the second row. …

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