✅ Breaking News - Nikola Matawalu insists that his rugby life was a gift from the gods

Source:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rug...">
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✅ Breaking News - Nikola Matawalu insists that his rugby life was a gift from the gods
#Nikola, #Matawalu, #insists, #life, #rugby, #gift, #gods
The aches of his trade, the lingering effects of illness are dismissed instantly. His eyes light up.'My first rugby ball? That is a story.' The face breaks into the sort of smile that illuminates a Glasgow winter.'I was blessed that my dad bought me a ball. It was so expensive. It was very unusual to have one. A privilege,' says Nikola Matawalu, otherwise known as Niko - and as the sort of rugby player who seems to have the unerring aptitude to inject spectators with a jolt of adrenaline. Share this article Share 'In Fiji, you play rugby as soon as you can walk but a ball was very rare when I was young,' he says of his homeland where rugby is a mandatory lifestyle rather than merely a sport.'But I will tell you the story of the ball. My father had been a military officer but he was a padre then. I would miss church every Sunday to go and play rugby. My father would smack me, give me rows. 'But then he said to me one day: "Here is a rugby ball. You will come to church on Sunday. But you can play with the ball on Mondays."'Sunday became a day of rest and religion. Rugby was the article of faith for the rest of the week. 'You have to know that rugby is just the culture in Fiji,' says Matawalu who, at 29, has dedicated his professional life to the sport.'Once you start to walk, then that is when you start playing. Simple. It is something that is there. Just there. You just do it. No one teaches you.'Sometimes we used a bottle as a ball. We would put just a little bit of water in it to give it some weight. We also used a ball of paper tied up with plastic strips. And yes, it's true, we would play with a dry coconut. It was anything that we could throw.'Everyone wanted to play. These are my early memories of life - playing Fiji touch. All the pro clubs play it now. We just called it touch. If you were touched when you had the ball, you lost possession. You went to the beach or down by the river to play. It was a simple schedule. It was play rugby whenever you had the chance.'I loved to play with the big guys. My older brother was 11 years older than me but I played with him and my other brother, my cousin, my friends. It was every afternoon.'Matawalu is now a Glasgow Warrior. He breezes into a room in Scotstoun after a team meeting, genuinely pleased at being voted the McCrea Financial Services Player of the Month and relieved that an illness that prevented him training has passed, although it has ruled him out of tomorrow's crucial European Champions Cup match against Cardiff Blues.Robbed of an intense focus on a big match, Matawalu can instead reflect on a life that is infused by rugby but has other significant ingredients, most notably his past as a member of the Fijian Navy, his duties as a human being and his responsibilities as father.His rise in rugby was swift. At 11, he was playing for the country's under-13s team and he progressed through the ranks to the national side. After an education at Suva Academy, he joined the navy patrolling t
Source:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rug...

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