SPORTS

Let my Fiji siblings Watch my Test Debut

Wallaby-in-waiting Henry Speight hopes his willingness to spill blood for Australia and a guarantee his siblings won’t “push the boundaries” of a temporary visa will convince immigration officials to let
25 Aug 2014 21:06
Let my Fiji siblings Watch my Test Debut
Father and son: Jone Seru doing weight training with his son Zaac Seru, a.k.a, Prolifik The Gifted.

Wallaby-in-waiting Henry Speight hopes his willingness to spill blood for Australia and a guarantee his siblings won’t “push the boundaries” of a temporary visa will convince immigration officials to let his family watch his Test debut.

Fijian-born Speight will launch one last attempt last week to get brother Jerry and sister Davila into Australia for a brief visit if he is picked to play for the Wallabies next month.

The Department of Immigration has previously knocked back two applications because Jerry and Davila are deemed a risk of becoming asylum seekers.

But as Speight prepares to wear the Wallabies’ gold jersey, he pleaded with officials to grant the Fijian duo a temporary visitor’s visa for the first time since he moved to Canberra four years ago.

Speight lodged a third application this week, supported by documents from the ARU and the ACT Brumbies to add weight to his case.

It’s understood ACT senator Kate Lundy will add her support as Speight edges closer to his dream of playing for the Wallabies when he becomes eligible to play for Australia from September 11.

“It would be a shame if I get to represent Australia but immigration still won’t let my family come here to visit, I can only hope things work out,” Speight said.

“Jerry and Davila] aren’t foolish. They know how important it is and the possibility of playing for the Wallabies, we can’t and won’t jeopardise anything.

“They will have return tickets, they will stick to those dates. We’re not going to push boundaries, we’ll stick by the conditions of the visas and I’ll be responsible for that.”

Speight’s siblings have been knocked back by immigration officials in the past because their father moved to Australia on a protection visa when they were children and became an asylum seeker.

University student Jerry and bank-worker Davila have not been able to watch Speight play anywhere in Australia after four seasons with the Brumbies.

The IRB ruined Speight’s hopes of playing for the Wallabies last year, ruling him ineligible because his three-year residency period restarted following a brief playing stint in New Zealand at the end of 2011.

It forced Speight to wait four years to reach his Wallabies dream and Test coach Ewen McKenzie added him to the Australian squad last month. He will finally be available to play against Argentina on the Gold Coast on September 13.

“There would be nothing bigger or no better occasion to play for the Wallabies and then have my family in the crowd,” Speight said.

“I play rugby for my family and I’m hoping making the Wallabies and the Australian squad will carry some weight with the application. I just hope immigration see our side of things.

“I just want to be able to see my siblings in Australia, I would really appreciate it. Hopefully [Minister for Immigration and Border Protection] Scott Morrison can take a look at it.”

Let my Fiji siblings Watch my Test Debut

Let my Fiji siblings Watch my Test Debut

Speight tore his hamstring in the Brumbies’ Super Rugby semi-final loss to the NSW Waratahs last month.

Speight could play for the Canberra Vikings to regain match fitness before the Wallabies’ clash against Argentina on the Gold Coast.

“Maybe I will play in the NRC when the Wallabies play South Africa in Perth [on September 6],” Speight said.

“I ran on [Monday] and got up to about 80 per cent. I’m on track and hopefully I can put myself in a position to be available for the Wallabies when I am eligible.”

The Canberra Times

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