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Sam Kasiano won't cop any jibes in post-footy career

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 9/05/2014 Adrian Proszenko

They say no man is bigger than the law. But try telling Sam Kasiano.

When the game's biggest bopper eventually hangs up his boots, Kasiano wants to make the transition from Bulldog to Blue Heeler.

"I want to be a policeman," Kasiano said.

"The club is helping me out with courses and stuff like that, but I can't do anything now until after footy.

"I could do some chases, some arrests," he added with a laugh. "So I can lock up my brother."

For now, the lessons in law enforcement will come from coach Des Hasler. But if he fulfils his ambition, it's unlikely the 135 kilogram prop will cop any lip while walking the beat. Yet his progression into the league world appeared just as unlikely.

Born in rugby-mad Auckland, Kasiano's uncle is former Queensland Reds and Western Force centre Junior Pelesasa. While he won't rule out switching to the 15-man code down the track, league held the bigger appeal during his youth.

"Just the big hits, I loved it," said Kasiano, who will be looking to dish a few out against the Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

This was not always the case.

"Mum always tells me about my first game. Back in New Zealand, I was 15 years old. I just stood there scratching my head for the whole game."

Somewhat reluctantly, at the urging of family, he came back for another go.

"Then the next week I got man of the match," he said.

However, football wasn't the reason for making the trip across the ditch. A year later, the family decided on a change of scene and shifted to Brisbane.

"I was a bit naughty back home," he said. "I was just missing a bit of school and stuff like that. I was getting bad reports."

There were only good raps about his football in Brisbane. Everyone was amazed by the kid with the surgeon's hands and a bouncer's body. He was poised to trial for Brisbane, but the scout who arranged it died just as it was about to happen. That's when the team he always followed, Canterbury, swooped.

"I just came down for a trial one year and they told me there was no need to go on the plane back to Brisbane," he said.

Since arriving, Kasiano has become a cult hero. The big beard and even bigger body – one of the biggest to grace an NRL field. When this is put to him, the former Otahuhu Leopard smiled.

"Not the biggest. The heaviest."

Kasino is a regular at the Diane's cafe owned by his good friend and teammate Frank Pritchard.

"Every morning I'm there for coffee and breakfast," he said.

"I'm just not allowed any more bacon and egg rolls. I've got a pretty big grocery bill."

Since becoming a father a year ago, the former Dally M prop of the year is spending less time at Pritchard's other business, a nightclub in Kings Cross.

"No more late nights, staying out at Valentines," he said.

Having spent the requisite time in Queensland, the former Aspley Devil qualified for the Maroons. However, the lure of the Kiwi jumper proved irresistible, resulting in him doing the haka rather than facing off against it.

"Mum just said to follow your heart," he said of his decision to commit to New Zealand. "The difference was the boys in our team. Franky [Pritchard], [Greg] Eastwood, Sammy [Perrett], [Krisnan] Inu.

"Once I got selected and got into camp, it was the best. It just felt like home."

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