RWC Diary Day 15 - Boks media
13 September, 2011
|Porirua school children cheer on the Flying Fijians during training today. |
With starting places up for grabs against South Africa training today was brutal. Players all pressing for a place left their friendship coat hung up in the changing room as tackles flew in strong and hard. In fact it left one wondering if this is what they could do to their friends goodness knows what they could do to any opposition, as team manager Pio Tikoisuva told the players at the team meeting this evening.
“The tackles you put in today were brutal,” Tikoisuva said. “If that’s what you can do to your friends just imagine what you’ll do to opposition whom you don’t know.”
Talking of the opposition there was a heavy South African media presence at today’s training session led by legendary number eight Bobby Skinstad who’s a part time presenter with Sky Sports - apparently. Indeed the heavy South African media presence at the ground was a little surprising though not totally unexpected considering Fiji’s efforts against them in the 2007 Rugby World Cup (RWC).
Also at the ground to wish the Flying Fijians the very best of luck were the good people and school children of Porirua who sang and cheered on the players throughout the hour and a half long training session. Among the crowd watching was former Fiji fullback Filipe Rayasi who played for Fiji from 1994-97, his last Test being against the All Blacks in 1997.
The former Japan-based player seems relatively impressed by the current crop of Flying Fijians.
“There’s a few of them that I know; they played in Japan, some I’ve seen before on TV playing in France and UK and I think we’re looking quite good.”
Rayasi is also quietly confident the Flying Fijians will turn on the style this weekend against the World Champions.
“Fingers crossed I’m hoping the players do the damage and get a win this week and I’ll follow them up to Auckland when they play Samoa.”
Nicky Little got a happy surprise after training today when about one hundred or so school children sung happy birthday to him on the pitch. Nicky is Fiji’s most popular player wherever he goes and more so in his home country, New Zealand. There was a further surprise for “Lailai” in the evening when a delicious chocolate cake was presented to him by players and management. In case you’re wondering Nicky is 35 years young today.
And finally today the Wellington weather has decided it’s had enough of spring and wants winter back again as two hail showers froze the day. Those of us in our squad who’d never before seen hail were stunned as small balls of ice fell from the sky…was the world ending? Possibly, but let it end after the Rugby World Cup.
Until tomorrow, moce mada. View the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 photo gallery.
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