Ricky’s NRL Interviews Pt 12: Marvin Karawana

Former Newcastle Knights utility Marvin Karawana

Here we are again, another interview; this time, we talk to former Newcastle Knights utility Marvin Karawana.

Marvin talks to us about his playing days at the Knights, his move to union, an unusual link to SBW and much more.

1. What are your earliest memories of rugby league?
I started playing footy at the age of 4 or 5 and from what I can remember, I used to love scoring tries so that my parents and grandparents would give me treats or money after the game. 

2. Your NRL debut with the Newcastle Knights came in 2007 when you were 21; were you expecting it and how did it feel to crack first-grade?
I was over the moon when I got to debut in first grade. It had always been a dream of mine since I was young!

I was lucky enough to be thrown a lifeline by Smithy and the Knights staff toward the end of their pre-season that year, so when I got that chance I worked pretty hard to catch up to everyone who had done a full pre-season.

I was actually supposed to debut a few games before that with a good mate Mark Taufua against the Sharks, but had to pull out the day before from a back injury so was pretty gutted when that happened.

3. You were able to cover lock, back-row and five-eighth in rugby league; did you have a favourite position during your time at the Knights?
I enjoyed playing everywhere a bit, to be honest. If I had the chance, then either five-eighth or lock probably would have been my preferred position.

My body didn’t agree with playing 80 minutes so I was probably more suited as a utility type player. 

4. In 2012, you moved into the rugby sevens world with Wellington; was rugby union always a sport you also wanted to play or was the move about the opportunity?
I played both rugby and league growing up as a kid, so always had ambition to try and do well in both.

So when I came off contract with the Knights and decided to move home to Wellington, I thought that I would give rugby a crack and see how that would go. 

5. Tell us a bit about your Wellington team-mates nick-naming you “Wainui SBW”.
Don’t know where that one came from, haha.

Threw a few offloads here and there but there is no comparison there; he’s 100 times the player and athlete. 

6. Away from both league and union, how do you keep yourself busy?
Besides running around after my 2 boys in my spare time, I help run an audio visual company back home doing conferencing and events so that keeps me on the go most of the time. 

7. Finally, if you could give any advice to aspiring young players, what would it be?
I don’t have any fancy quotes or inspiring stories, but it would just be to work hard on your game, always keep improving, and never give up!

And secondly, to always have a back up plan for after footy as you never know when it will come to an end and it can be pretty tough adjusting to life and work in the “real world” if you aren’t prepared. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *