Rugby News

Malakai Fekitoa cherished his time in the All Blacks jersey

Published on

Photo by The Daily Rugby

Malakai Fekitoa says he has the support of past and present All Blacks as he embarks on his trailblazing move to play test rugby for Tonga. Fekitoa played 24 tests for New Zealand between 2014 and 2017 before taking his game to Europe, playing for Toulon in France and now Wasps in England.

  • Wales star removed at half-time a week before first Six Nations
    by debrambuhl on January 29, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    Wales flanker Tommy Reffell was an early departure from Leicester Tigers’ defeat to Northampton Saints on Saturday. Reffell, 23, regarded to harm his right shoulder before receiving remedy within the first half of of the 19-18 Saints win however played on and turned into closely involved in complaints right up to the wreck. He did

  • 2023 Sydney Sevens Final day LIVE – the men’s and women’s rugby 7s action
    by Roger Brown on January 28, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    Sydney Sevens Final day: The 2022/23 World Rugby Sevens Series is headed to Sydney, Australia, on 27-29 January for the latest round of the men’s and women’s rugby 7s action. Reigning Olympic champions New Zealand go into round four top of the women’s standings in red-hot form, having won in Hamilton last week. But last year’s World Series champs Australia are right behind

  • Black Ferns Sevens make winning start in Sydney Sevens 2023 tournament
    by Roger Brown on January 28, 2023 at 5:33 pm

    The Black Ferns Sevens side have continued their impressive recent form with two big wins on the opening day of the Sydney Sevens tournament on Friday. The side took out the Hamilton leg of the World Sevens Series last weekend and won both of their matches on the first day of the three-day Sydney tournament,

The 29-year-old is determined to give something back to his Pacific Island heritage and used the Olympic sevens program to become eligible to play for Tonga but World Rugby’s recently relaxed eligibility rules means other high-profile players could follow his path with an easier route.

Fekitoa, a hard-running midfield back, told the latest edition of the Rugby Journal magazine, he was thrilled with the World Rugby development and explained how he had been encouraged by the positivity of some of his former All Blacks team mates.

“Everyone is really happy for me, even the current All Blacks, guys back home and past All Blacks because I am good friends with a lot of them,” Fekitoa said.

“The guys in the current team are supporting my decision. They wish me well, and they are all happy for me. A lot of them are islanders as well. There is a lot of Tongans in the current team and Samoans and they know what it is like.

“They know it is all about the families and the culture. I don’t gain anything from going back – we don’t get paid a lot of money or anything. But I am going for the right reason, to give back, and I think those guys are happy for me.”

Fekitoa now faces the prospect of taking on some of his old test foes at the next World Cup in France in 2023. Tonga are looking to qualify for a place in Pool B alongside world champions South Africa, Ireland and Scotland. australia vs all blacks rugby game

Fekitoa’s experience will be grasped by Tonga, and he is up for it.

“I just feel the weight of representing my country now. I am so experienced. I’ve done everything,” he told the Rugby Journal.

He encouraged others to follow his steps, though knows there will be mixed feelings about allegiances from some players.

“I understand some guys are Kiwi at heart, or Australian born and raised, but I think if you haven’t played 100 games, why don’t you (switch)? Especially some very talented guys who are still under 30,” Fekitoa said.

Popular Posts

Exit mobile version