RWC Diary Day 23 - Adriaan
21 September, 2011
|James McOnie of NZ Sky TV's 'Crowd Goes Wild' programme interviews Nicky Little. |
We’re 23 days into our Rugby World Cup (RWC) journey and it’s probably been amiss of me not to mention our very excellent team liaison officer Adriaan Ferris. We’re actually extremely honoured to have someone of the calibre of Adriaan looking after us. In his other job Adriaan is the coach of ITM Cup side Northland and so knows his way around the New Zealand rugby scene.
In fact so well has Adriaan looked after us that it would be hard to imagine how anyone else could’ve done the job any better. Of Maori heritage, Adriaan has gone out of his way to ensure the Flying Fijians are very well taken care of. Incidentally last year Adriaan was head selector of the New Zealand Under 20 – who’ve been World Champions since forever – so he comes with a pretty good CV.
It was another cold and crisp day in Auckland today with every single player putting up their hand for selection in a game in which the result is not only going to be imperative to the fortunes of Fiji and Samoa in the Rugby World Cup but also to the general mood of those two Pacific island nations. New Zealand media coverage has focused on the fact two brothers – Sailosi and Michael Tagicakibau -could face each other in opposite teams this Sunday. If that were to happen I believe it would be the first for a Rugby World Cup match.
Those of you who are familiar with New Zealand television will be interested to hear that James McOnie of the Sky TV comedy show ‘The Crowd Goes Wild’ was down at training this morning doing a lighthearted piece with a number of the players. McOnie actually came to the ground with a cardboard banner which read ‘Free Waqaniburotu’, and for a while we weren’t sure whether to laugh or kick him out. The fact though he was there in a pair of long shorts, a jacket, shirt, tie and flip flops on a bitterly cold morning meant he we couldn’t do much else but have a good laugh at him.
Tomorrow morning a number of the team are having breakfast with a special young man named Varayame Batini who hails from Tavua. Varayame is here in Auckland with his mother Ilisapeci having an operation to enable him to walk. Despite being born healthy Varayame was six months old when he had an operation to heal a sore on his lower back. The procedure turned his feet inwards and he has been restricted to a wheelchair ever since. To see the full story on Varayame go to www.project varayame.co.nz.
Fiji’s team for Sunday’s match against Samoa will be named on Friday at 11:00 AM.
Until tomorrow, moce mada. View the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 photo gallery.
View video highlights of the Flying Fijians in New Zealand.
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RWC Diary Day 22 - Double whammy