Fiji Airways Flying Fijians loosehead prop Haereiti "H" Hetet is proud of both his Fijian and Māori heritage.
Hetet, who first played rugby for Ōtorohanga Sports Club at age 5, has two Fiji caps to his name and has once again been named in the side for the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2022.
At only 24, Hetet has already captained his beloved Ōtorohanga rugby side, played NPC rugby for Waikato (2018-19) and Bay of Plenty (2020), represented both the Māori All Blacks (2019) and the Flying Fijians (2020-present), and most recently played for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua in DHL Super Rugby Pacific 2022.
Fijian Drua No.34 Hetet says it was a huge honour to represent the Drua in their first season of Super Rugby and make history with his teammates.
"It means a lot, especially all the hours I've put in. All the hard work finally paid off and to represent my family is huge," says Hetet.
He is following in his father Joe Veitayaki's footsteps as he also played prop for Fiji, from 1994-2003, ironically making his debut against the Māori All Blacks while Hetet made his Māori All Blacks debut against Fiji.
"It's always a privilege [to play for Fiji], ever since I debuted for the Māori All Blacks I wanted to represent my Fijian heritage so it's always an honour."
So far his career highlight has been getting to meet good mates from the various teams he has represented.
He says his favourite player to play alongside is his brother, former King Country prop Manawa Veitayaki
"He's a tighthead prop and we worked well together in the scrum."
On the other side of the spectrum, he says the toughest opponent he has been faced with is himself.
"The man in the mirror is always the toughest person to come up against in terms of being disciplined on and off the field, making sure you're eating the right food and always keeping your mind up for the task," says Hetet.
"I just want to take every day and make it count. I can't say what could happen, because anything can happen. So I'm just keeping myself on my toes and being ready for what could come."