If the Norths Devils have a stand-up comedy night, Brad Lupi will be the star performer.
And he won’t need a script – he can just list off some true stories.
Like the time a girl he had been courting came to watch him play rugby league. Lupi scored a try, flashed her a smile and never saw her again.
“I’ve got a false tooth that I don’t wear when I play, so I was missing a front tooth when I smiled at her. She’d never seen me without that tooth before. That was it,” Lupi says.
“It was a pity because I scored a decent try.”
He smiles when he thinks about his league future . At age 29, with a decade between NRL systems, the NSW Cup and the Intrust Super Cup, Lupi says he’s far from done.
“I must be delusional because I think I have another eight years or so left in me. And, when I get on to the field, I think I’m 10 years younger than I am,” Lupi says.
“I’ve played a few years now and I’m not thinking much anymore of NRL level. I’d love to play there but I’m realistically in the back-end of my career so I’ve come to terms with the fact that it may never happen.
“But you never know – I’m not giving up completely. I’m just focused on playing for Norths.”
Lupi knows he’ll have to work hard in the pre-season to crack the Devils’ top team for 2019.
The powerful prop comes to Bishop Park from the Central Queensland Capras, following on from stints with the Northern Pride and Mackay Cutters.
He had previously played with the North Sydney Bears after growing up in Sydney following a childhood move from his native New Zealand.
Lupi’s Mackay connection sparked the move to Norths.
He played there with Michael Sio, who was one of 21 new Devils in 2018 during an overhaul under new coach Rohan Smith.
“I messaged Mikey and he spoke really highly of what’s been happening at Norths,” Lupi said.
“When I think of Norths, I think of big, strong forward packs and I want to be part of that.
“My goal is to make the Cup team here and go from there. I want to be part of a good team.”
Lupi has settled in Brisbane and has continued his career as a disability support worker with the Endeavour Foundation.
“I really enjoy that work and I get a lot out of it,” Lupi said.
“I was able to move from Rockhampton to Brisbane and continue that work so it’s been good to have that.
“The pre-season has been good so far and there is a good feeling around the club.”