Our Miracle Man In

A traditional Fijian healing technique involving leaves has done what western medicine could not, healed a broken leg in four weeks, allowing the All Blacks to select winger Waisake Naholo
31 Aug 2015 13:28
Our Miracle Man In
Waisake Naholo at Parliament House in Wellington after the All Blacks Rugby World Cup team announcement last night. Photo: Phil Walter

A traditional Fijian healing technique involving leaves has done what western medicine could not, healed a broken leg in four weeks, allowing the All Blacks to select winger Waisake Naholo in their Rugby World Cup squad yesterday.

In one of the most sensational selections in New Zealand’s history, Naholo was picked ahead of seasoned stars Israel Dagg, Cory Jane and Charles Piutau as one of three wingers in the All Blacks’ 31-man squad just weeks after fracturing his leg.

He had essentially been ruled out of the rwc when he reportedly cracked his fibula while playing in his debut test on July 17, an injury that was supposed to have laid him out for six weeks.

But Naholo went to his home village of Nadroumai in Nadroga where his uncle Isei Naiova promised to cure him in time for the tournament.

A beaming Naholo told Sky Sports in New Zealand last night after being unveiled as part of the All Blacks’ squad: “Everybody was talking about my leg in there; it was just one thing I really wanted to do so I could be able to be a part of this.

“Going to the World Cup by itself is really motivating and to be part of this great team is really motivating for me as well,”Naholo said.

“I’ve just got to wait and take my chances at training and when the time comes, I have to do my thing.”

And last night Naholo’s dad, Aporosa Naholo was lost for words when the news was relayed to him.

“This is a proud moment for all Fijians and a testament of the power in the traditional healing and medicine,” Aporosa said.

“He really wanted to play in the RWC and I have never seen so desperate when he came home to seek traditional cure from his uncle.

“He told me he wants to play at the RWC and set a platform for all Fijians that nothing is impossible if you have the God-given talent.”

Six weeks ago, Naholo’s RWC dream of playing for the All Blacks was in doubt  when he sustained a leg injury against Argentina in the opening Rugby Championship test.

He was told by the doctors in New Zealand that he will be out for six weeks including the RWC.

“We believe in the power of the traditional healing and when my brother (Naiova) touched his leg with the Fijian leaf, we knew he will be cured,”Naholo said.

“I’m so proud that the All Blacks have included him.

“My son is a proud Fijian playing for the All Blacks and I’m sure the whole country would be proud of him.”

He was one of four outside backs named, joining Ben Smith, Julian Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder.

While naming Naholo in his 31- man squad, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Naholo is the X-factor in the team.

“He is a try-scoring machine, he has X-factor and he brings something to the team that others in the group don’t bring,” Hansen said.

“We can’t win this World Cup by just having the ordinary, we have got to have something different and he provides that.”

Former All Blacks captain Murray Mexted says Naholo is a wonderful player.

“He is a good winger and has that capability to impress for the All Backs.

All Blacks squad: Hookers: Dane Coles (Hurricanes/Wellington), Keven Mealamu (Blues/Auckland), Codie Taylor (Crusaders/Canterbury);

Props: Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders/Canterbury), Charlie Faumuina (Blues/Auckland), Ben Franks (Hurricanes/Hawke’s Bay), Owen Franks (Crusaders/Canterbury), Tony Woodcock (Blues/North Harbour);

Locks: Brodie Retallick (Chiefs/Bay of Plenty), Luke Romano (Crusaders/Canterbury), Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders/Canterbury).Loose forwards: Sam Cane (Chiefs/Bay of Plenty), Jerome Kaino (Blues/Auckland), Richie McCaw – captain (Crusaders/Canterbury), Liam Messam (Chiefs/Waikato), Kieran Read (Crusaders/Canterbury), Victor Vito (Hurricanes/Wellington);

Halfbacks: Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs/Waikato), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes/Wellington), Aaron Smith (Highlanders/Manawatu);

First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes/Taranaki), Daniel Carter (Crusaders/Canterbury), Colin Slade (Crusaders/Canterbury);

Midfielders: Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders/Auckland), Ma’a Nonu (Hurricanes/Wellington), Conrad Smith (Hurricanes/Wellington), Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs/Counties Manukau);

Outside backs: Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes/Manawatu), Julian Savea (Hurricanes/Wellington), Ben Smith (Highlanders/Otago), Waisake Naholo (Highlanders/Taranaki).


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