Setu snubs Roosters for Mormon mission
Off on a mission ... Lagi Setu. Picture: Peter Wallis Source:
The Courier-MailLAGI Setu has stunned the Broncos with the Brisbane back-rower to officially quit the NRL at season's end to embark on a religious mission.
LAGI Setu has stunned the Broncos with the Brisbane back-rower to officially quit the NRL at season's end to embark on a religious mission.
Repeatedly linked with a move to the Sydney Roosters, Setu's contract saga took a surprise twist yesterday when it emerged the devout Mormon had hatched plans to temporarily walk away from rugby league.
The Roosters have been chasing Setu for months and the quick-stepping Broncos back-rower was on the verge of agreeing to a two-year deal with the Bondi club.
But Setu's planned move to Sydney in 2011 has fallen over after his management informed Roosters officials of his intention to serve as a Mormon missionary.
The 22-year-old has already filed preliminary paperwork with his church.
Once his application is formally processed, Setu could be posted anywhere in the world.
Setu's agent Isaac Moses, who also manages Broncos star Israel Folau, confirmed the former Dragons forward is seeking a two-year religious posting.
"He's looking to do it, he has put in his papers," Moses said.
"Lagi won't be going to the Roosters now."
Setu is not the first NRL player to embark on a Mormon mission.
Former Titans winger Jordan Rapana is midway through a two-year posting in England; John Hopoate's younger brother Albert returned to the Roosters in 2007 and former Broncos utility Fraser Anderson, now playing rugby in Japan, has also served as a missionary.
Setu did not return calls yesterday, but he told The Sunday Mail two weeks ago he was contemplating the religious trip after his older brother was posted to Melbourne.
Missionaries do not receive a salary for their work and, according to Mormon guidelines, have until the age of 25 to embark on a two-year posting.
"I’d like to stay in Brisbane, but at the same time there are other things I have to figure out. My religion is important for me," Setu said.
"For me, it (a religious mission) is still on my mind. "I won’t say I will do it but I won’t say I won’t go. My faith is a really big part of who I am and I’ve got another couple of years to do a ‘mish’."
A Roosters insider said the club, which expected the Broncos to release Setu six weeks ago, is disappointed the deal had unravelled.
"He had agreed to come to us and then it became a dispute over when he was coming. Lagi felt the Broncos lied to him (about when they would release him) so he now wants to go on a mission. He's a mixed-up kid," the source said.
"It's been going on for months. He wanted out, and the club was supposed to release him when Shane Tronc joined the Broncos.
"He would have been great here, but he won't be with us now. It's a real shame because he's a super talent but we wish him all the best."
It is understood Setu will play out the season with the Broncos as he awaits a decision on his religious destination.
The quietly-spoken forward admitted he had struggled to find his feet at the Broncos but denied he had fallen out with coach Ivan Henjak.
"It’s hard, especially when you train so hard in the off-season and then you are pushed back to Queensland Cup. It was a little bit hard but I don't want to be negative, I've tried to stayed positive," he said.
"I haven’t heard much from Ivan about my future at the club. I just know that he’s naming me in the 17 and at the moment my priority is doing my best for the club."