After All Blacks election Fekitoa tweets: ‘Proud, excited to represent this country’

    In picture: Fekitoa and his mother Meleane Fekitoa. Photo/Malakai Fekitoa (Facebook)

    Malakai Fekitoa elatedly tweeted this afternoon to express how he felt after he was announced as one of the 31 All Blacks squad elected for the Rugby World Cup 2015.

    Fekitoa tweeted: “Huge HONOUR to be part of this Team for the RWC. Iʻm Proud and excited to represent this country.”

    Fekitoa was the only Tongan-born player named in the All Blacks team for the Rugby World Cup after Charles Piutau was not included on the list.

    There were mixed reactions from Tongan All Blacks fans after the team was officially announced this morning.

    Fekitoa arrived in New Zealand in 2009 and enrolled at Wesley College. Now he has achieved what many Tongan boys dream of – the chance to wear the black jersey.

    Fekitoaʻs election to the team marked another milestone in the 87 year-old connection between Tongan players and the All Blacks. The link between the kingdom and the team began with Walter Batty, whose mother was Tongan and father was English.

    Batty played for the All Blacks in 1928. He is claimed to have been the first Tongan to play for the world champions of rugby union.

    Fekitoa has only  14 months’ history with the All Blacks. He will be a member of the team that defends the Webb Elis Cup next month.

    While many Tongans welcomed the election of Fekitoa, some were not satisfied with Piutau missing out.

    Some Tongan commentators on social media asked whether Piutau was injured because his recent performance had been brilliant. However, Fairfax reporter Lian Napier suggested that the comeback of  Waisake Naholo to the All Blacks assured the fate of Piutau.

    New Zealand will face Tonga in Pool C along with Argentina, Georgia and Namibia.

    Fekitoa tweeted:

    Fekitoa tweeted_Page_1

    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), T.J 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).

    The main points

    • Malakai Fekitoa elatedly tweeted this afternoon to express how he felt after he was announced as one the 31 All Blacks squad elected for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
    • “Iʻm proud and excited to represent this country,” Fekitoa said.
    • He was the only Tongan-born player named for the All Blacks team for the Rugby World Cup after Charles Piutau was not included on the list.
    • Fekitoa will be a member of the team that defends the Webb Elis Cup next month.

    For more information

    First Tongan All Black (Kaniva News)

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