Jesse Sene-Lefao’s infectious laugh and big grin underline why he’s earned the reputation as Super League’s most positive person.
That smile will be even greater if Castleford can beat St Helens on Saturday to win their first Challenge Cup final for 35 years.
But there is so much more to Sene-Lefao than the ball of energy that Super League fans see on a weekly basis. For instance, he’s also a budding property tycoon with his own Tryline Property company, renting out serviced apartments.
Then there is the fashion label he owns with two former team-mates, producing their own clothing line called ETYKYT. And if that’s not enough to keep the father of four busy, Sene-Lefao also has a licence to work as a bouncer, along with qualifications that allow him to be a personal trainer.
It’s a list of commitments and ventures that sounds exhausting on their own, never mind alongside his career as a Castleford Tigers enforcer. But the 31-year-old forward says he loves living life in the fast lane – and with a smile on his face.
The New Zealand born Samoa international said: “I take it as a compliment that people think I am a positive person. I love life and I’m pretty grateful as a person. I feel blessed so it makes it easier to be happier.
“I have values in life and one of them is creating an impact and using my different talents. If I can put a smile on someone else’s face then all the better.”
Sene-Lefao was forced to start multi-tasking as a new dad during his early days with Manly in Australia. He’d train and then go working as a bouncer, to help provide for his family, but he says he learned a lot from the hard graft of holding down two jobs.
He said: “I preferred to talk people out of trouble rather than get heavy. I also learned to work smarter rather than harder. You learn a lot of lessons in resilience when you are tired. That work helped make me the person I am today.”
Devout Christian Sene-Lefao regularly puts motivational quotes and comments out on social media. He added: “If I can help just one person then I am happy. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do these things.
“I love to maximise my potential in anything I do. If I could play rugby for the rest of my life I would not be doing anything else.
“But I know it will finish one day and I want to live the same sort of life I am now so that’s why I’m developing all these other things for my kids and family.”
Sene-Lefao, who joined Cas four years ago, recently reached the 100-game milestone with the Tigers. But it’s his wife Estelle he claims deserves the credit, saying: “100 games is a lot but my wife has been the backbone. She was there before I even played one game.”