Humble footy star, 22, who used to work at a factory with 3am starts while juggling training will use his State of Origin pay cheque to buy his parents their dream home
- Brian To’o made his State of Origin debut for NSW on Wednesday in Townsville
- The winger scored two tries in the 50-6 win over a shell-shocked Queensland
- All players receive $15,000 per match in the three game series over six weeks
- To’o is on track to collect $45,000 after his memorable debut for NSW Blues
A footy star raised in the tough conditions of Sydney’s outer west plans to use his State of Origin match payments to help his migrant parents buy a home.
Brian To’o, 22, who starred for NSW in his representative debut on Wednesday night in Townsville, scoring two tries in the 50-6 victory over Queensland, is on track to collect $45,000 over the next few weeks.
While many in his shoes would use the money to live large and splurge, To’o – who worked night shifts in a factory before getting his chance in the NRL – is cut from a different cloth.
Born and raised in Mt Druitt, in Sydney’s west, the deeply religious family man plans to pass on his money to his parents, dad Fale and mum Fati, who are of Samoan heritage.
NSW State of Origin star Brian To’o (pictured middle) with his parents dad Fale and mum Fati
The 22-year-old is likely to collect $45,000 in match payments for NSW – he plans to pass the money onto his parents so they can buy their dream home
‘We are going to see the finance guys next week,’ his manager Sam Ayoub said.
‘He will put that money toward getting a loan to buy his family a new home.’
To’o burst onto the NRL scene as a winger with the Penrith Panthers in 2019.
He quickly became a fan favourite, and is renowned for his epic runs each time he laces up his boots.
Before playing in the NRL and for the NSW Blues, To’o worked in a factory to help out his family.
Ivan Cleary, his club coach at Penrith, recalled one training session a few years ago where To’o was absent.
‘I wasn’t happy, so I gave him a call to find out where he was,’ Cleary told the Daily Telegraph.
‘He told me he was at work. I told him to get back to it and to make sure he was at training the next day.’
NSW and Penrith teammates (from left) Brian To’o, Nathan Cleary and Jerome Luai were all smiles after Wednesday’s win over Queensland
Cleary later found out To’o was working 10 hour shifts in the factory, often starting at 3am.
Money was tight in the To’o household, so Brian chipped in. Without hesitation.
With his first NRL contract in 2019, To’o forked out $10,000 to pay for a headstone for his sister Dannielle, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008.
The family were previously unable to afford a headstone for his sibling when she died.
To’o prides himself on making a difference. He often acknowledges growing up in Mt Druitt, a suburb in western Sydney notorious for gangs and violent crime.
‘I’m proud of where I came from,’ he said last year.
‘My life has been a rollercoaster, but I want to keep happy, I want to keep smiling.’
Brian To’o enjoyed a dream Origin debut for NSW, scoring two tries in the thumping 50-6 win over Queensland