SPORTS

Island Experience

For Melbourne Rebel Telusa Veainu, making his debut for the Ikale Tahi in the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup has been humbling. The 24-year-old wing said the contrasting experience
16 Jul 2015 08:31
Island Experience
The Tongan side ready for Saturday's clash.

For Melbourne Rebel Telusa Veainu, making his debut for the Ikale Tahi in the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup has been humbling.

The 24-year-old wing said the contrasting experience between his New Zealand upbringing and training in his native country was most eye-opening.

“We had a week in Tonga along with the coronation and the conferences,”Veainu said.

“That was really good. We got to get out there and see the people in Tonga and see how fortunate we are. It made us realise how fortunate we are to be in the position that we are in.

“Coming from New Zealand, it’s been really humbling. In all Pacific teams, first and foremost, religion is Number One, God is Number One. To come there and then experience it here, it’s been really humbling.”

The former New Zealand Under-20 wing was excited at the prospect of running on against the Flying Fijians in this Saturday’s opener and would work to perform his very best.

“I’m very nervous but also very excited at the same time. It’s a dream come true and to have all our families supporting us is simply amazing and I’m really looking forward to it.

“For me, it’s just controlling all that I can do. So obviously just catch the ball as it comes my way and I’ve just got to make my tackles and chase the ball hard really. I’ve just got to work hard on and off the ball and if it comes my way, just to make the most of the opportunities that I get.”

Looking towards the weekend fixture, Veainu urged the Tongan community to come down to the ANZ Stadium in Suva and lend their support.

“Hopefully see you guys down there. We’ll do our best on Saturday. It’ll be good to see you guys down there.”

Veainu made his Super Rugby debut for New Zealand franchise the Highlanders in 2011, signing with the Crusaders in 2013, and then joining the Rebels in 2014. Veainu is one of seven players debuting for Ikale Tahi in the PNC.

The match kicks off at 3pm.

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 

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