May rugby win in the end says Head of State
Flying Fijians Captain Akapusi Qera paying traditional Fijian courtesy before their Highnesses Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and Masiofo Filifilia during their courtesy visit yesterday
By Natu Samuelu Tafunai
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 13 JULY 2017: “May rugby win in the end. As a sport, we are now seeing in a global competition in a way it never did before.”
The words are His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi when he welcomed and congratulated the visiting Flying Fijians rugby team at his home yesterday.
The Flying Fijians have already qualified for the 2019 World Cup and will play Manu Samoa at the Apia Park this Saturday.
Saturdays match is the local teams’ best chance to qualify without going through tough qualification rounds if it comes out win less in the Pacific Nations Cup competition having lost to Tonga a fortnight ago.
His Highness, a long-time President of the Samoa Rugby Union said every country has lifted their game and those who have lifted their game are shown in the results.
“We are competitive in many areas, but in essence, we are one competing internationally in the Sevens, and it does not matter whether you are Fiji, Tonga or Samoa,” said His highness.
He also said that politics can colour relations, but it does not take away the fact that Fiji and Samoa have a common history, ancestry and culture.
“When you come to my home, you are family,” he told the players and management.
He also congratulated the Flying Fijians for winning a place at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“You have no sense of what you are doing for us, for the Pacific in establishing credentials of our rugby on the global level, and that is something we should all celebrate,” said His Highness.
He also pointed out Samoa’s victory over Australia “that has brought us pride.”
He made reference to a recent visit by Australia’s Governor General who presented him with an Aboriginal artwork.
He said the significant of the gift was the commitment to the spirit of culture and connection where people come first.
“We need to make a point about indigenous because what makes us who we are finding our roots and culture before finding ourselves in conversation with the world.
“Play a good game and may the best team win,” said His Highness.