Fekitoa’s former Tongan high school coach elated meeting the All Black

    All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa’s former high school rugby coach in Tonga said he was elated when he met his former rugby trainee in Tonga on Wednesday.

    ‘Isi Fatani a former ‘Ikale Tahi player and a tutor at Liahona High school, said he told Fekitoa how he predicted he would one day be selected as an All Black.

    He said they talked about the All Blacks and he gave Fekitoa some advices for his physical exercise trainings and discipline.

    Fekitoa arrived in Tonga for a family reunion with his family in Faleloa, Ha’apai.

    Tonga’s Minister of Tourism Hon. Semisi Sika arranged a dinner for himself, Fekitoa and Fatani at the Lunarossa Restaurant.

    Hon. Sika told Kaniva News Fekitoa studied in Liahona while he was the president of the school’s alumni.

    He said he was a strong supporter of Fekitoa at the time he played for the school’s rugby teams.

    Fatani said he understood there were overseas clubs which were vying to offer contracts to Fekitoa, but he advised him to stay with the All Blacks for as long as he could play for them.

    “I advised him to be active in our Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it would help him a lot in his career”, Fatani said.

    Fatani said Fekitoa recalled how he smacked him in one of their training sessions because he was late.

    He said he reminded Fekitoa that discipline was very important in sport.

    It was a memorable meeting and Fekitoa gave Fatani an All Black jersey to keep as a souvenir.

    Outstanding

    Fekitoa had been cited as one of the key players when the All Blacks defeated Ireland  21-9 in Dublin last month although he was sinbinned for a high tackle in the 48th minute of the game.

    The penalty came after he went in high on Simon Zebo and received a yellow card.

    As a result he was not available to play against France the following week.

    He was first handed a two-week suspension, but that was reduced to seven days on account of his previously good disciplinary record and immediate acknowledgement on the field that he’d transgressed.

    In October Fekitoa appeared on One News after a video emerged online showing him clambering up a coconut tree during a training session in Durban.

    The video was widely shared online with more than 1000 shares and likes within a week.

    Facebook users said Fekitoa intentionally did this to show how a real Tongan man behaved.

    Boys who could not climb coconut trees were mocked and likened to women or fakaleiti.

    The All Blacks centre has played for New Zealand 23 times.

    The main points

    • All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa’s former high school rugby coach in Tonga said he was elated when he met his former rugby trainee in Tonga on Wednesday.
    • ‘Isi Fatani a former ‘Ikale Tahi player and a tutor at Liahona High school, said he told Fekitoa how he predicted he would one day be elected as an All Black.
    • He said they talked about the All Blacks and he gave Fekitoa some advices for his physical exercise trainings and discipline.
    • Fekitoa arrived in Tonga for a family reunion with his family in Faleloa, Ha’apai.

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