Rugby

Fan Spots Gollings In The Dark

I said: “Let me be the first fan to welcome you home. Welcome my brother and congratulations for your newborn.
11 Jan 2022 13:35
Fan Spots Gollings In The Dark
Viliame Naulivou (left) with Fiji Airways Fijian Mens 7s head coach Ben Gollings at the Nadi Airport on Sunday January, 9,2022.

University of the South Pacific post graduate student Viliame Naulivou thought he was seeing things when he saw a familiar figure walking at the dimly lit Nadi Airport International Domestic Departure lounge on Sunday night.

“I saw this tourist with his mask  pushing his trolley inside the Nadi terminal – I knew straight away it was Ben Gollings,” Naulivou said.

“I shouted out to him ‘Ben Gollings national sevens coach’, he turned to me and gave the widest smile underneath the mask, I knew I was not mistaken,” he said.

There was a black out in Nadi the airport was on back-up power supply.

Gollings nodded his head and the two shook hands.

I said: “Let me be the first fan to welcome you home. Welcome my brother and congratulations for your newborn.

“He thanked me and we walked together to the Domestic Flights gate where two airport staff assisted him with his luggage as they headed to the tarmac.”

It was confirmed by a Nausori Airport officer yesterday that the last flight on Sunday was 7am.

There were no flights for the rest of the day due to adverse weather conditions.

Flights at Nausori resumed at 2.45pm yesterday.

“I first met Gollings a few years ago when he came to play in the Coral Sevens in Sigatoka. Then he was a player. Now he is our national coach, I was so excited to meet him,” Naulivou said.

“His arrival was timely as then there was a blackout in Nadi; he strolled casually with his luggage trolley. If the power was on, it would have been a different story.

“People would have crowded around him.”

Naulivou from Vakabuli, Lautoka with maternal links to Namara in the province of Ra was dropping off his sister who was bound for her return flight to Los Angeles, United States of America when he ran into Gollings.

Meanwhile Fiji Rugby Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor has confirmed that Gollings is now in quarantine at the Suva Tanoa Plaza hotel.

Gollings flew in from Nadi on the 2pm domestic flight yesterday.

“Since his flight to Suva (Nausori) last night was cancelled he had to stay overnight in Nadi,” O’Connor said.

“His transfers were handed by Tanoa Hotel, they transported him from Nadi airport to the hotel, from the hotel back to Nadi airport and then from Nausori airport to Suva Tanoa today (yesterday).

“He (Gollings) will be tested again on Thursday. If everything is okay then he gets to meet the sevens squad.

“Meanwhile he is communicating with Fuli (Saiasi) who is handling both squads – the men’s and the Fijiana.”

The two national sides depart for Spain on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Feedbackkaralaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 



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