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Nili Latu

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uh great to be here brothers sisters okay let me just get into this [Music] [Music] get it the learning curve for us after the world cup was um world cup’s a different tournament and every every team you know it doesn’t matter if you’re georgia manibia japan everybody’s here to win and that wherever you rank on the table uh we’re rugby ranking it doesn’t matter it goes out the windows though i think there was a big learning curve that you know everybody wants to win and looking at that we we’re only going to get better by learning from my mistakes and and going forward tongue on rugby union is not in a good shape at the moment a lot of hard work’s been done right now to uh to get it back on the road again so i still feel that i still have much to offer and the team and my time’s not up yet but you know it’s not long to go i believe there’s a lot of young players coming through and i guess when your time is up step aside and let those young guys come through and and take you know take care of the job whatever i got left in the tank hopefully i can help out my country and leave it in a better shape where i found it before [Music] oh [Music] oh [Music] me [Music] i’m [Music] [Music] yay [Music] me [Music] [Applause] uh [Music] oh [Music] me [Music] [Music] [Applause] uh [Applause] [Music] [Applause] my advice for young players coming through one self-belief two hard work free sacrifice but most important of all or god at the center of everything you do wow love it to you guys hello hello go ahead okay okay guys let’s start um good evening good afternoon wherever you’re coming from uh good evening to our family the tongan pro athletes of today’s and yesterday uh it gives me a great pleasure and an honor to uh introduce our guest tonight his name is um let me just give you a little bit of this history here so let’s see so latu began his rugby career with the new zealand side bay of plenty in 2004 spending three years there as well as playing super rugby for both the chiefs and the hurricane in late 2006 latu was drafted into the hurricane squad as cover for for all blacks absentees jerry conlon and rodney soy low for the 2007 season moving to japan in 2007 latu then spend eight years with the nec rockets making 63 appearances and scoring 165 points in his time with the club before signing for newcastle he made his debut for tonga against japan in 2006 and went on to captain the side in the 2015 rugby world cup which saw his side playing world champions new zealand at newcastle st james park he joined newcastle in the summer of 2015 from japanese side sec green rocket becoming an instant hit with his dextrous and prolific approach back role play named as 2015-16 players player of the season after a sensational debut campaign he finished the season as the club’s top try scorer after dotting down a hat trick against sales shark on the final day of the campaign going on to become tonga’s most capture player of all time his handling and work rate makes him a standout performer a serious knee injury sustained on national team duty severely restricted his appearances during the 2016-17 campaign but he returned at the end of the season and went on to score indones pacific nation cup victory over samoa in the summer of 2017. in 2018 latu left newcastle falcons after helping the falcons achieve fourth in the aviva prime premiership the highest fitness in 20 years he moved to japan to continue playing rugby where he still lives and play today [Music] [Music] um [Music] foreign i think back in the day like i think um i think rosa he came out to uh steven seller’s house but uh i wanted to ask you’ve been in the league for you’ve been playing rugby for a long time and uh you’ve been coaching with what makes you you know keep going and i know you’ve been in the league you’ve been in in rugby for about 15 or more years and you’re still in it and has to be a satisfying feeling to be still be playing and and coaching so so what what’s what keeps you going i think firstly what got me into the sport especially growing up in a big family with my parents with my siblings i was always a struggle and i think every tongan family has a story to tell i saw the struggle that my my father and my mother went through and you know growing up in tonga coming late into new zealand school became a second um you know for me it was a second habit for me but i knew the only way out i could help my father and my mother was through sports and rugby and i think that was my my driving point from from day one and now i have my own family the one thing i share with my wife there’s a lot of things that i didn’t get when i was what was growing up in tonga i think these days kids got iphone have lunch and hem the shoes i go you don’t pair shoes but one thing i i do work hard and i put on my sleeve every time i i play or or given the opportunities as my kids in my family um yeah and i think when i looked at the whole plan of my whole rugby career um i’m turning 39 next month and man you know it’s uh it’s amazing um my god god’s plan for for myself yeah and i thought i was done under age 31 32 but um and i want to look back and and what i’ve been blessed with uh growing up in uh [Music] we can make plans but god has played better plans for us um go do more with me you know you got to stay grounded be humble in what you’ve been given so um this week is our beginning of our campaign our season it’s been a long seven months so um but yeah it’s kind of good i’m just really blessed as a professional player but you know i i’m always uh appreciate that the you know god you know i always put god um through everything i do i’m sure he directs me in whatever i do in rugby as well yeah you know that’s uh uh all our stories are almost the same you know as as athletes um it’s um you know especially us that were born in tonga that migrate to other countries to uh you know our parents took us there to get a better life as they say you know we brought you out here so you can have a better life than they were but you know our story is the same is when you make it to that level uh it’s humbling and like you said you know god had a plan for you and everybody else that has been in that field so uh you know we we appreciate you coming on and uh you know as as we talk to other athletes that comes on on this page is it’s uh it’s great to hear the stories that they have or what makes them you know made it to the level they they made it to to today but um you know uh you’ve been in they’ve been in there for a long time like for you being in 18 years uh in in in american football uh hardly anybody makes it to 18 years playing in a league in in the nfl i mean if you make it five years that’s that’s great to being in the nfl there’s a couple guys that still play now that they’ve been in the league maybe 14 or 15 years but hardly i mean there’s only a few guys that they can do that but you’ve been in that for 18 years so that’s that’s great to me that’s a a will of a person i mean to last that long man um not too many in the nba the nfl will last that long we got a guy named uh tom brady the quarterback for tampa bay now but he had a long stint with uh new england patriots and he’s in his 40s i think he’s like 42 this year yeah he’s 42. and still playing yeah so you know it’s gotta you gotta have the will for it it’s it you know and and i commend you for that neely you know to to last that long because you know we all know longevity we have to have it to play in these games especially these physical games and uh rugby at that but uh great job of keeping yourself in shape and and playing for that long but uh are you still a coach player or are you still playing uh neely yeah i’m i’m player coach at the moment but most time like i thought i wasn’t gonna play this week but i’m i’m starting this week so um it’s good it keeps me on my toe and it’s a it’s a challenge um yeah i just i’m passionate about parking on my experience um congratulations to the younger generation now yeah nice man um we spoke with a guy and his son plays there i guess with you huh um how does it feel to represent your country and also to go play for japan and is there an inner mixed feeling or oh definitely not um i no one no one can take their pride away um wearing their red jersey i think uh we’re just blessed to be here um because they put food on the table for the family uh apart from that just becomes a job um yeah but you know your heart’s always back home um you know where it’s other with rugby or with your family um but that’s you know we there’s a lot of tongans here in japan um making a name for themselves and i think they can all say they’re only here because of what they can provide for their family back home which is awesome yeah so it’s it’s the the kids are playing in in japan right now they are they from from tonga uh or they from all over the uh from new zealand australia mostly are from tonga i think some of the university here they have connection with atele uh dolor and liahona and i believe we bring around about 20 new kids every year every year wow so we are exporting a lot of our good young players in tonga i think it’s just because we don’t have an academy there’s no setup to hold them back in time but the opportunity to come and go university and get a degree but also after four years you’ll get picked up by a club here as well so it’s a you know i said it’s a no-brainer not to take the opportunity and come over and have a go in japan sorry somebody’s waiting to there’s some background noises um but i guess tim just took care of that but uh hey uh you see welcome uh our colleague here is former i guess teammate or a coach to you huh uh i know easy probably has something to to say to you or ask you uh we’ll give them that uh this opportunity please easy yo uh um um [Laughter] foreign [Music] oh um [Music] um um foreign [Music] [Music] on there buddy good to see you man thanks for coming through uh [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] for tonga under h [Music] okay they play tomorrow tomorrow but other than that go [Music] go the big country they play they got a little loophole around everything whatever rules they put out they always have a excuse for something nearly i got a question for you mate uh can you please share your uh your experience you’ve been around the world been to play spend your career started in new zealand uh moved to japan japan to uh england what’s the what’s your experience between those three what’s the difference um in our tongan paper we wanted to be known in our in our own country uh but it still didn’t pay the bills uh japan is different um japan pays the bill um i think being here for eight years i just wanted a break-in and i wanted to refresh and and have a go in uk and that was the reason why when i went to uk but after maybe a couple of months being in uk i missed japan so luckily my um a lot of my good friends japanese friends who are coaches now uh here um and there’s one thing that japan culture is really big on this respect and i the only reason why i came back i had a lot of good friends and i kept you know i respected those older fellows and now they are the coaches and they’re running clubs so i fly back into that mode now so um and that’s the that’s the thing that you know i tried to to implant to because we have you know you know molly who played for the oakland blues he’s here with our club augustin pulu uh all black he’s here club so there’s a lot of um experience young tongans are coming through but for me it’s just not sharing the what you can earn but you know looking long-term as well and you know that’s the beauty of the game here is you know you can stay as long as you can and you know like what is he was saying maybe i can reach 40 but i think i’ve made i think i’ve reached uh and made up my mind this year that i will pull the plug i think just with uh being away from my family my son is starting college at sacred heart just being away from the family and i think now you know i’ve had a great run with my rugby career and you know blessed to to play this long but i think it’s time to to go home and be a father to my kids who needs me more but i’m always grateful for the for the opportunity that i had along the way so i think the kids are more happy for when i when i decided to uh i’ll probably announce it later on uh during the year but um yeah like what i said i would love to make 40. i was going to sneak in this hookah but i think i’d like to get off at the airport in auckland and walk off without a wheelchair so i’ll stay at 8. nilly uh we’re hoping to have uh peter harding yeah i guess the new ceo or president of tonga’s team what happens if he gives you a call and says hey why don’t you come and help us coach your coach or what if that opportunity is presented to you oh you know it’s um i would take it with both hand you know i’ll never say no to my country um thank you and i think um with with whatever experience i hit along the way and um you know there’s a lot of great players along as well who are in the same boat but you know that’s for me uh to play for my country is an honor um if i do get the opportunity to coach as well you know that’s an honor um so you know what no who knows you know god’s got the master plan um you know i’m just thinking outside the circle here but you know um you know that’s part of his plan then you know it’s a it’s a blessing okay uh hano is one of our colleagues here one of the panels but he had left but he had written a question mostly from a guy named henry bloomfield who played on the us team when you guys came in 2007 he says and he played against you but this is what he said neely i don’t know if you’re familiar with henry bloomfield who was the number eight for the usa team wait sorry i asked him what it what it was like playing against the ikaritai team he said his teammates were afraid of you guys he tried his best to play hard so he could get his teammates can now look alive but they were just in fear uh i guess you guys put out that aura against the us when you guys played huh yeah um i think a lot of the boys who went on the 2007 woke up um you know that’s something they will remember and that’s a special group uh what we have achieved on that tour um but you know there were so many things that was um happening back home um you know the burning down nuka lofa and etc so we went out and there was no support no nothing but we just had to stand on our own two feet and become a tongan warrior and i think it didn’t matter who we because we just got beaten by samoa just leading up to that uh tournament and you know and we hadn’t we haven’t had a great record against america and especially we had um england and south africa but you know some of those our players thought out from one to 23 our coaching staff and i think you know that’s something that’s unique to hold on to as players and as we get older you know we all believe in different things these days but they should not get in the way of the achievement that the brothers and the coaches achieved on on that tournament yes if you guys can see behind me on this team that we had here uh this guy that i have my mouse on is henry bloomfield okay and man uh this is this guy here is gonna eat bloomfield i mean there were brothers here that i felt you know because henry went and made the u.s team but if these kids were to grow up in tonga i think they would have very well played in the in that team uh that’s how talented these bloomfield boys are huh bloomfield the former cooker for the the uh and henry bloomfield is the son of the older brother village bloomfield so they have been represented in tonga very well with uh you know with their teammates here so anyways needy um kalo i know you have something to say we don’t want to just take the whole time so chime in okay so it’s good that you mentioned time build because uh i am the the fun police for the time i’m just uh letting you know that we have uh uh at the most uh 20 more minutes with with nearly er actually we have 15 more minutes it’s five past five so uh uh if we can uh have um nice short questions and uh more of neely’s talking yeah uh unless uh just one quick question from me what is your most memorable igaletahi game you have played well so many um [Music] i think i think the one with when we played south africa 2007. we were not even well we got told that we weren’t even going to go close but i saw the the boys the way we prepared for it um it was just amazing how much we put into it and even though we didn’t win um but that’s you know that’s one game that i will never forget uh how much the boys put in for the jersey and you know it’s it’s the one that’s standing up for me the most um sorry uh uh uh um because i i was supposed to get on early on the zoom but six minutes to uh to join the meeting before before our training starts talking about this we have five minutes yeah we got five minutes no worries man um [Laughter] [Laughter] thank you for coming in man i know you’re busy but uh thank you for the time that you have for us man appreciate it yo [Music] i don’t get the support from the clubs yeah like yeah people are listening here yeah i don’t get the support then how can you get the best out of the players in the island or develop them here if you did if you don’t um a great and announce on the radio whoever wants to play for tonga under 2010 up we’re going to have a trials in in odaho wow problem is those players are not i don’t believe they’re good enough so what i did i’d never do that i went to the auckland rugby union ask for their high performance program see who’s the tongan players in the academy oh wow so i went there and picked i remember i picked uh george moala willis [Music] would know these guys some of them make the obliques and i can’t i can’t pick players announced you know charles was to pick for the tongue and under 20 to come down for trouble because those guys are tearing up they unfit that’s that’s the thing i’m talking about yeah unfit and they get some of them selected but when you put them in the fitness case nah they all and those guys went and played and kept us in the a grade and then the next year they want to localize the the under 20. what happened went down again you know that’s the thing i’m talking about when you i’m sure nearly will experience this if he goes to tonga you don’t get the support from the locals and you felt like you’re an outsider coming and unless those kind of questions i want to ask how can we um i believe you need coaches to qualify to get our our nation up and running because we have players all these guys all all those boys i’m talking about in the auckland academy they all came and played for tonga at the same time they can still play for new zealand and then the fourth next year new zealand picked him yeah and george wallace became enormous is doing the damage in wales and wales wanted him to pray for them and i was hoping oh man i can’t take him you know that’s what i’m talking about it’s sometimes our local coaches think oh we should pick global players because they might get a chance to get a contract overseas that’s not the case yeah because what if you get billion by 80 points with the local teams nobody want to look at it right but when i coached the tonga 20 i select about eight boys from tonga and then the rest from new zealand and australia and those guys you know they all came like some of them were in the auckland development or auckland team uh one of the boys he was the number eight for for the brumbies in the super rugby uh you know get those guys together and i i learned a lot of things about you know the difference between local players and also the players from overseas but you know you know some of the local boys they hang around together the one from new zealand australia they hang around together i said no no it doesn’t work like this i want you guys as tongan not as new zealand or local players yeah you want them to get along want them to get along and hang out and and share share with each other what their experience are yeah yeah but i was happy to see what he’s talking about you know [Music] because [Music] because they think they know more or they don’t want the help or they don’t want somebody to come in and tell them what to do or i feel like they don’t need my help uh-huh yeah like you know it’s not been out but and i think that’s a big problem yeah that’s why just the sad thing is they don’t let the coaches like dolo saying they don’t let pick his staff or pick his players but then when they don’t win stuff hit the fans right they blame the coach yeah he had nothing to do with it right you only needed him to coach but the thing is everything when when you win or lose whoever to play they blame the coach right right uh dolo i got a question for you you know how we had a meeting in 2011 when and now trying to get nearly into the um we had that meeting trying to uh when issue what did i say the day were they on your side because they feel like you got forced to pull a meeting with those players to ask if nearly get in that you wanted to get nearly in the team or the but would they against you against uh about nearly joining us in 2011. what’s the story there well um i didn’t want to go to it but you know we have to talk we tell uh again what happened in fiji before the world cup [Music] finale was injured every day he was injured in fiji and i didn’t have a specialist number seven yeah so what i did i called my senior players i talked with them this is how i this is what i think is best for the team and the only special place specialist players i can think of is nearly because i don’t believe there was no one else uh we’re up to the standard that i won but nearly and after that my senior players yeah okay if if that’s how you see it okay go along with it and then i had a meeting with my management team there and nobody said anything um yeah okay okay so i call neely from fiji and nearly just got back to japan at the time and like he just got back in japan i called him and he said oh i just arrived and i said oh can you come back and he said yeah okay and i said to him okay come to tonga and nearly came back to tonga um when we went back to tonga from fiji i got a call from the ceo just me i didn’t realize that they they already called all my management team you know and they this is what they said to me this is the port i’m talking about oh we were told that it was your own decision to call nearly back in the team i said to them there was only one guy who stood by my side was laurel and the rest where i said now it was was not our decision was only his decisions and i say to the board it doesn’t matter if it’s if if there was my own decision i’m the head coach right you make the call of course yeah you know and they said no we don’t want him in the team and i said this is for the country even though i said i’m not going to pick nearly you know for his discipline in there but that’s beside the point you know yeah you make the call because you’re the coach and then i couldn’t do anything more i asked him you know i want the best for the country right so it’s that the uh it’s almost like that uh they hire the coach but you don’t have any saying of who you hire as a player for your own team because you as a coach should know who you want to play for you but it’s almost like the front office wants to run the whole thing and they hire the the people they want to hire i mean the players you are the coach you should you should be the guy that should get the players that you want i think i think bill parcell the problem though is about nearly um because uh before istala jumped and came as a became a head coach um i was the problem was the committee didn’t play pay the players big didn’t so nearly had enough of their ps so yeah you call us strike call out the team on that year to uh to go on the strike because they’re not going to pay them so but on that same week they had to play the junior all blacks and um nearly called the strike on the committee to go no one turned up to play everyone do their own thing [Music] we have to stand together on this one otherwise they’re going to continue doing the same thing promise us they’re going to pay us but they never came through with it that’s why they didn’t want it was the same committee that they kicked nearly out it’s the same one in 2011. am i right dollar yeah they’re the same people that came in uh i came in and call us in because we came for fiji they haven’t named the squad for the 2011 world cup and i was part of it and i was i just wanted to know everything i was gonna follow in my am i in the team when they go but they when they called the meeting and and i was like mate uh this got nothing to do with us players it’s like can you just name the squad so we can know where we stand so we can book flights and go back home to our family i’ll go back to training but i was none of that it was all about nearly uh about the committee disagreeing with this fellow about letting in let it really know play was like may is this this is should be between you and the coach you don’t wanna listen what else he’s gonna do he won the play even some other players go yeah let lillian really can do the job even the captain then just dollars brother was yeah i could do the job but i know maybe nearly he’s the right person for that job but they didn’t agree and i hope our boy peter harding will have a different philosophy as far as uh hiring a coach and allow him to pick his staff right you know uh no just on that it’s just for the that’s the comedian yeah that was with without a big dollar yeah it was on him but from there on there it was on the coach then yeah no but i see the frustrations here with with coach uh estoro saying that he wasn’t in control of his team you know bill parcell former new york giants coach this is what he said when when he ran into this problem right i am the chef you hire me to cook if you want me to cook i will go and buy my ingredients yeah meaning that he will get his staffs and his players and if i’m gonna get fired for my cooking it will be me i won’t get fired because of you what you said or what you told me to cook but that’s the philosophy of uh coach bill parcell and i think every coach should live by that before they go in and sign the contract and they’re gonna be the head coach hey i better be full in full control of my talk before i sign this so man that is a really a shame if tonga is still like that man wow no wonder why we’re still down there i think it’s um i’d like to thank you for bringing up that you know it’s when we’re talking about something that’s important it’s also very difficult to talk about it because now tongan culture we’ll be talking about uh really difficult things that will hurt our family and our friends and people that we work with but that’s a you know that’s a a very real thing about going over to tonga and um feeling feeling left out especially if you’re going there to do something for tonga and you know even even yourself is you dollar you’re you’re a notable person and you go there it doesn’t even matter who you are really but you go in there into the local clubs they they really give you uh um the the the right amount of uh attention uh and time to yeah and um i don’t think it’s a a personal thing of the clubs but i do think it is part of the problem of a wider problem of the way the the the main body of the the sporters and it’s not just rugby that they’ll be my rugby league and other in other sports but i’m not too familiar with other sports but specifically with rugby and rugby league yeah i think some of the problem is with these clubs you go in there and they already have this this wall of defense you know that you’re coming in to tell them what to do coming in to make changes and they and uh you know we don’t know much about them we don’t know much about the game in toler but there might be a you know the game in tonga is different from the a game out out here but i think that the clubs you know they act like that because um you know they don’t have a sense of belonging uh themselves to the governing body to that main umbrella the main umbrella is sort of like we have this governing body here we control the the national team but they they don’t give that sense of the overarching family body to the rest of the clubs and give the impression that you clubs should be doing this developing and stuff because uh when we do our competitions and our nationals we we’re looking for um players from the clubs from tonga you know so uh it’s almost as if the local clubs don’t care because they already think they’re not going to choose us they’re going to go to overseas and choose players there so we’re just going to do our own thing in uh and be great in our own local competitions um but that is a very real feeling that and it’s quite sad especially at going as a tongan and then you go there and you feel why why don’t i feel i’m not accepted as by my own people you know what just took place here uh with uh fedu you know with his comments and to me the players knew way too much about what the coaches is doing and it shouldn’t be talked about you know among the players about what the coaches are doing okay the coach will have a plan he gets it to the players and they execute and that’s the way it should be for the players to know what the coaches are doing and what they’re going through man that’s how the the different vibes gets it’s just wrong because me running a company here that i’m doing is these guys don’t have to know what these guys are doing and these guys don’t have to know what they’re making vice versa you know that’s how you keep things confined and in a professional level and for our tongue and team be doing to be dealing with this you know coach is his business is out there we should say his business is out there and i guess a few of them is making decisions for him so that’s that’s that’s all i got to say about that it’s nothing against you for do um you know you guys uh that’s the way it was but man it’s just wrong for for players to know what coach head coaches is going through yeah and yeah you know uh yeah um he was a uh that you know uh with uh neely he played you know there’s sometimes our tongan players you play a certain position uh when you’re playing in the tongue team but in uh when you’re playing in uh domestically or and especially um in new zealand there’s a different position you’re not often like nearly you know a flanker he uh he might be a flank of a tunnel but when he’s in place for provincial and uh rep here in new zealand he might not be but but he was he he was a specialised uh uh person and that put in that position sorry definitely yeah i felt like i wasn’t just a coach here like some there were other stuff that i was told uh to tell the players but i don’t think that was part of my job [Laughter] like like at the camp i have to tell the players oh you only get this much money and i said why don’t you guys do that yeah that’s not your job up front and we all hated the crow yeah we all played for that see that’s that’s the problem that i’m talking about probably yeah the players knew too much yeah they know that they know that we listen to dollars yeah but although like is they hide behind dollar to deliver whatever message they want to uh send them so so dollar is the bad guy yeah but what i’m telling you what i’m saying what i’m saying is it’s like i can tell the players but sometimes some of the stuff i told her i can’t do it i can’t lie to the players right yeah you have to be upfront with them man yeah you know they won’t trust you that’s the thing because the problem was there was a lot of money given to the players you know and the players asked me oh can we get this much can we can we get a thousand rather than 500 a week because there was a lot of money coming and i said that’s beyond my control they are the ones who control the money but but everything i hate i’m the one facing the players right and i get the blame but outside of my job that’s frustrating that’s frustrating [Music] just sorry you had to deal with that and uh and i tell you uh there was a lot of money i was called to uh um and there was a lot of money involved and i’ve never speak about it wow what about is the same thing about it the dollar can vouch for me every day when we’re in camp in tonga that we go into different village every night after training straight after training shower on the bus next village village we see the money coming in to the but we don’t see it at all and the problem is and we got sick of it boys got sick of it gotta pull a meeting together call a meeting then get all the boys that mate we’re no longer going to do this we just we’re going to if they call us you go again after training everybody just go do their own thing you guys felt used right yeah don’t use because we don’t see that money yeah it’s just nothing to the players yeah gains a village to the committees yeah the players don’t see it but we’re the one they’re the one of this the people is the one giving us the money is the money for us players right just helping helping us out but we don’t see at all that’s why it was before the world cup we had a big uh we called the strike and everybody didn’t want to follow the committee anymore and we just like make sure you’re on time for training that’s it but where the money was going i mean good christensen it was the other no but remember these these money comes in with without a receipt or anything else right there’s no receipt it’s all okay i was told uh it’s for the uh some of the money will be saved for the next year for the women’s team so you guys are fundraising for the women’s team not for your own team [Laughter] i better go and collect those funds for the women’s team there yeah there you go he’s waiting for you we’ve been fundraising all these years we didn’t know that there’s actually money there for her we um we were lucky to have a team uh for the world cup because the team were gonna strike on saturday before we traveled to new zealand on monday wow wow honest you asked me to because i remember that saturday um we had the final training in pangaea in bangai um and then after the training i excused myself because my my wife’s sister was getting married at uh oh i forgot where but but the team was supposed to have lunch in atata if you do one yeah and i excuse myself so i went to my wife’s [Music] uh my wife’s sister got married in saturday so the team went to at the time for lunch i went to the wedding and i got a phone call and said hey the team’s gonna speed up i said what now the team is in that attack no they’re gonna split up this boy’s gonna strike they’re gonna they’re going home so i said okay i’m gonna come so the first um i jumped my wife the players already started leaving [Music] the biggest the biggest game the biggest game the biggest game should be the attention should be all on the players and the coaches [Music] [Music] uh have lunch show love to the other family then after that when we come off when we come back everybody do their own thing back your back and leave was the first one he saw so he pulled everybody back i was already in the car then follow and uh the rest of the players came back so i had to get off and go in like my gosh that’s a big mess that that was the first year that the the uh stadium mob flag be begun it was for you guys that yeah uh so you know you must have brought back some good spirit because you did unite everyone else’s hearts uh here in new zealand and around the world at that world cup and flags you know the that year flags were everywhere was and it was that was a first time the wheels saw so many flags and in a stadium and it was everywhere people were painting houses um red people were painting roads red you know for you guys you guys first started the that shut down the airport too yeah you shut up therefore one guy was a racist nearly three hours trying to the one of the runways read you must have brought some some sort of good spirit and we we like to thank you for going through that struggle and yeah you know a mm team with a phenomenon but you this was the team that started it the 2011 world cup but he suggested in my facebook he says how about creating a single rugby academy in kanga to create the high performance environment for local players to train in supported and funded by the tru and he’s saying pipe dream it may be but what do you think about that uh it’s like me and dallas been saying nearly been saying it’s been a long time coming they should be on it already yeah it should have been there already yeah but the problem is if you go and hello again vouch for me too on this one i go i show up to the tiu you know who the ceo is but there’s no one else who’s the company who’s in the committee there’s only one person on top and everybody up in the bottom nobody knows but this is know who’s house is a dollar remember saucy that one guy there always he works there yeah yeah no as the ceo and him just walking by while just working by himself how they’re gonna create uh academy when the the committees are not sorted themselves could this could this be run privately by somebody yeah i mean come i mean somebody privately come in and and start his own thing and then has nothing to do with them yup we can do that people can do that is there um is there any like camps for these kids at age what 7 10 to start i think so now when you i think you started uh would you go in high school he’s getting kids from i think seven to 11 or 12 somewhere around there and getting them to run and just yesterday i watched uh under 16 yeah the league uh from tonga the kitchen’s playing i mean man and what got to me is these kids are fighting yeah if you can’t teach that at eight-year-olds huh to become you know players at 14 15 16 that looked like that they was playing these kids are fighting among each other yeah and man what made it worse is the camera is right there and a few ladies on the side they’re the ones with egging it on and you know i’m like oh my goodness these are the type of things that we have to get rid of for them to come and perform you know outside here yeah you know with with all the uh the tear good or the good teams huh but man what a shame to see that you know at this young age under 16 is what it says yes i know it’s uh a good thing they started under 16 which is it’s a start here but the doubtful there is no boom the committees don’t have espionage yeah disciplinary no direction yeah no oh they just playing for the fun of playing the game yeah nothing to look forward to like yeah he’s i’m talking under 16. uh go ahead but right now it’s just for the fun of playing rigby yeah whoever the new coach is yeah he has to go down to this level and say listen i want you guys to pay attention to what you’re doing and learn all you can from these coaches because one day you guys are going to come and wear these red jerseys and represent the country i mean if you set that mindset to the kids at that young age right that way they have something to play for rather than just hanging out with they’re just playing because of the fun of it yeah yeah i mean that’s that’s what i was saying bill is that you know the the uh the governing body is not set up in a way that uh that that serves the the stakeholders the other clubs and you know the clubs the kids they’re not in a mind frame that they’re in this club and then when they play their national com that they might be um a potential to play for igareta they they don’t have their that mindset you know but that’s also because it’s not set up like that but they’re not uh you know crafted to to be like that um well it’s it might be but it definitely hasn’t been activated like that or run like that and hence we get people like you know estonia go there or anyone go in there and you feel like an outsider yeah you know when i uh when i got out of football i actually ran a camp i had a camp for 25 years uh for young kids from five years old all the way up to high school and the difference between i mean when the kids came in at that five eight five years of age by the time he reaches to 16 17 you can tell the big difference of how their progressive going of their talent is um and you can tell the discipline they have uh because what i what i did with the camp is that i brought in um players professional players to talk to the kids as the motivation speakers uh and plus just to help them with some of the technique stuff i also brought in uh police department to come talk to the kids and and have them talk to them about that they’re friends with them not enemies with the police department and you know the discipline in that i saw was it’s very i mean tremendously it worked it worked for some of these kids but i you know i that’s why i ask if there is anything like that going on in tonga because i think our kids really needs that discipline uh as as as an athlete i think a lot of a lot of our athletes we can we can have them go back to donga if we ask them to go back to donga and if there’s a program like this or a camp like this for the kids once or twice a year we can go there and and teach the kids and a discipline of playing sports because playing sports you have to compete not go in there and get mad and and and punch somebody because he tackled you too hard or he he scored on you or or that type of stuff so i mean it’s one of the fights that i saw with the kids yesterday it was funny here you know how they tackle in the league here and they they lay on them they lay all them down huh the kid that was underneath got mad at that but they do about two kids they they gotta teach the kids that’s part of the game that’s the part of the game yeah they tackle them you know but they’re holding them the kid was mad at that yesterday yeah see and then right away that kid should be kicked off the team yeah but doing that you know upgrade our coaches the the knowledge of the coaching staff yeah they gotta have they get a player they they play a big part of that too on teach their kids how to uh with discipline you know teaching them what’s wrong and right and right now rigby just teach them how to run straight be the suffix toughest guys in there and be uh get up and fight when there’s nothing no way so we got to upgrade their knowledge to it with coaching because yeah and the reef coaching and the rest and the work yeah because you know the support is there for thomas that the people of tonga support you know the uh the team from tonga even you know the league and everything i mean like you said if they do you guys went to every to the the village and they were giving money for you guys the money was coming to you guys and the support is there for you guys man it’s and then you turn around that money comes in go in somebody else’s pocket not going to the team where that money is supposed to go the village also the church the churches yeah the donations from the churches yeah and and also the um pacific hardware timber they had a big donation for the team and the problem was you know the the daughter of i’ve got the name uh gave the um the checks to the players and that’s how the players knew about money and they kept asking me oh there’s a lot there’s so much money coming can we get our our payment like 500 more because there’s a lot of money coming and they told me to tell the players but the players knew i’m gonna lie to the players the players knew there’s money coming yeah because some of the money came to them first so they got the money so they knew money was coming in so they’re asking for more money they were asking from a flight they got 500 a week but they asking for just uh extra 500 to make it a thousand a week a week right and for the players to receive a check of like forty thousand dollars one you know 140 thousand dollars like can you lie about that it doesn’t include the you know the donation from the villages the churches in there yeah yeah you know i i just hope that this program doesn’t hurt you guys chances of uh ever becoming head coaches in tonga again yeah oh no no no yeah go ahead mama it’s good that we talk about the things yes yep yep that’s right we can move forward exactly exactly if we just keep see and our new ceo uh peter harding yeah this is something that he can learn from you know hear it and see it and go a different direction yeah don’t just try to come in and tackle the things in that way because man apparently there is too much to i i didn’t even know we were in this deep of corruption no kidding man my goodness whatever what happened uh you know how we went when we got to new zealand we had to go to their dinner and they said it was for the players whatever happened to that one because we heard we got 60 plus grand over new zealand dollars on that one but we’ve never seen we only seen um like the there was a committee in auckland um organizing a dinner for us but uh what i did i i i only took the players that they were not in in the squad of 22 uh to the dinner and it was packed it was like 30 000 was the hotel i think they sold the tickets and and there were people just standing around they bought the tickets but there was no seats available and the hotel was full and then but for some reason um we don’t even know what happened they said oh we had to pay you know for the cost of the hotels and then we it was supposed to be the fundraising for the for the team right but in the end i don’t know how many the players got money out of that off you know the same people they came up north were there they came up north they hand everybody the envelope man say i opened the envelope i had 60 dollars in there my god but you know for the fourth table of 10 was free grain wow man i had 60 dollars out of it [Music] [Music] foreign one of the communities i think the president got up and said a speech and i was crying in front of us yeah boys here come the money everybody open up fifty dollars [Laughter] my gosh well we can laugh about it no way but it’s like i said it’s uh so you guys split the uh one table huh that the the third the three thousand dollars on that table you only split the dead table and the rest goes to something oh goodness man yeah they give us the just expression have red and white but i didn’t know we didn’t know until the the caretaker the kid man every training he’s walking around with different uh bare shorts different t-shirt on i was like bro that’s supposed to be for us [Laughter] no no no no it’s for the other for someone else i was like no it’s for 2500 world cup plays [Music] it’s sad man i i wonder if we can bring those guys and put them in court huh today [Music] is man no wonder those 10 000 tables sold out huh yeah yeah yeah of course yeah you know i think the players were disappointed uh they said oh because we have to pay for the cost in there they’d rather the players rather have that you know something to eat at the hall or something where it’s paying nothing yeah you know if even if they didn’t have the intention yeah which it seemed like they didn’t have the intention of giving the players a part of it right but that’s what i mean why mention something that you don’t intend to do to do if you’re not gonna give the players money don’t say hey you guys go do a fundraiser here and you guys will get a part of it just tell them listen the team has to show up here yeah we have to show face here and stay for like an hour or two and then one day that’s it that’s all they got to know they don’t have to know you guys will get a part of this because this is what’s going to happen the player player’s gonna laugh with this 60 bucks i remember in 2015 2015 [Music] but for me i don’t i don’t think so because i know uh what the what how much money i was putting like uh with regarding to the money i have nothing to do with the money i’m just a coach right and for me to hear the amount i was going what the [Laughter] of hell the natural reaction yeah what he said the the minister said to me what are you doing with their money i said oh what money i’m sorry i don’t i have nothing to do with the with the money oh i’m just a coach i’m only looking after the players yeah well that’s the downfall of everything is that you know the people that control the money it’s not going to where it’s supposed to go but you know it’s for their own use and it’s never going to change unless you know you know uh i’m talking about now i’ve never spoke about it because you know because i know okay i was kind of shocked what that much money wow this doesn’t include the money from outside right the money that that’s donated for you guys to use for for the team yeah wow from one of our guys on facebook and he says what we can do to stop or help our players on the national team does that make sense to you guys or because for you guys i think he just meant what can you do to stop these guys taking the money from the team um unless unless it’s run privately the government’s going to have their hand in it no matter what right is that is that the thing uh at the time the government uh i’m talking about the government donation for the team knew nothing about it let me try to clarify what tim’s saying maybe he’s saying that um who hired peter harding was it the government or was it tru or are they the same is that right tim yeah yeah uh that’s between the government and the tru and the irb okay and and because the irb is playing a big part of them but you know i said who is the irb please the irb is i think the irb [Music] um under them is everything every uh comps and everything is under world rugby so we’re right here okay well rugby is like the nfl okay so there’s money coming from them to support the teams right yes yes i’ve read that yes okay from what i know uh tim the irb doesn’t have a money any money for the team for the tahiti but what they do they bring funds to the tru right development site right but where’s the development i know i know i know i tell you what somebody sent me a a film of the the office of the tru all right but i gotta say i’m talking this film was just taken a few days ago that place looks so run down i mean i don’t know how people can go in there and work for eight hours a day that film you sent me bill the one yes ma’am oh my goodness it’s look after you but it’s a nice little office yeah it’s all run down man it’s it’s bad i mean who would want to go work there i think the easiest uh answer and probably the most truthful answer to that question is you know how can we help our boys or or any sport is good people you get the good good people right people in there no it’s going to be much better we can we can uh you know do a whole lot of um you know uh camps and high performance and we can set up a lot of fancy titles and what forth but if you still have the same people and if you still have you still pick different people with the same kind of thinking and attitude you’re going to get the same results yeah of course problems just the good thing about peter peter harding is the new ceo yeah we got to give that man a chance of course of course well peter haring all those ps outsider people outside of rugby trying to put in their five cents into pitahati they need to shut up and back him up if you ain’t happy if you weigh back him um help peter hardy don’t say anything give the man a chance because he know a lot about whatever he’s gonna come up with to help help and support him that’s the that’s the main focus from going on going forward from here yeah no i hear that i hear that uh you know it’s like he just wrote it and said this is an ongoing problem from who knows when donna always had this problem from long ago and it’s very true um yeah well like i like like what uh fedor just said here this man is coming in apparently he’s been there before yeah but now he is the top man and the ceo of tru okay we as a people have to combine and you know support and uplift this guy yeah you know okay he can’t do his job if we’re going to sit here and try to critique everything right but critique and i gotta come and support these people you guys come we need to go and and help this guy we need to put our team in a different level see let me put this in perspective coach kalani sitake i was hired to come and coach byu right every year guys our hopes was just to make it to have a good record eh you know win six seven games that that’s that’ll be good for us see kalani sitake has come and this year he was undefeated except for the last game where he lost but you know what we have hopes now and we have hopes now from what he’s built in the last four or five years that we can challenge for the national championship at some point that’s the thing that development is about yeah we build a team and put it into perspective on this height and every year we don’t come and start from down here we come and start from here and build and go up from there every year yeah because it man right now i mean before it was like okay let’s come down here and build in and come back to where we was this year 2020. we gotta come 2021 and start from where we ended here and go up from there and that’s what we got to do we gotta help beat peter harding with his dream he has a vision he has a vision and he’s gonna hire a coach will justify and have the same vision as him okay and that’s how he’s gonna that’s how he’s gonna hire in all reality some of you guys are probably thinking hey i could coach that get ahold of peter and get his vision get to where he’s he’s heading because if you’re not on that same boat he’s not going to hire you so you guys please that’s all i can say is you guys need to come and help this guy that doesn’t matter that’s irrelevant at this point we have someone that can take our team to new heights okay let’s give him a chance let’s help him rather than sit here and critique and say things that shouldn’t even be said eh anyways uh that’s my two cents guys here um unless people is we’re impatient to people right we just wonder straight away we can’t wait for the for because it take time to get there yeah us people we just want to win straight away yeah yeah i don’t know dollar if you ever go around and danga and join people all they want to talk about is when when what’s wrong with the team we just want to win but mana odai shared that with me back in 2015 man our people is impatient because i want this i want to build a team so when this team finished we always we don’t have to go back to square one and start again can i make a point before you easy please on what uh fatou just said hey let me put this into perspective these college coaches and that includes our man kalani stuck it they’re making between three million to five million dollars or probably more yeah and that’s been one year what eh yes yeah i mean that’s what i’m trying try to grasp that and look at what we have our coaches are barely making peanuts right and then you guys have the goal to say that you’re impatient eh come on now byu usc they are they should have the rights to be impatient because they’re paying their coaches that much that much yeah but um i’m sorry go ahead uh please they don’t realize if they come and do the job or they win against new zealand and australia straight away and then they realize how difficult would you need time to develop the players exactly yeah three to four or five years maybe we can beat them but difference yeah i just want to talk about the difference between the leak and the union here you can play for tonga in new zealand and then you can play for new zealand and then you can still play for tonga yeah [Music] and all blacks they can’t play for tonga otherwise we would have a good team too of course way before the rugby league became what they are now what’s the diff what’s the difference on that uh easy difference rugby board here politics there of course once you play for new zealand then you want to play for tonga you have to stand down for i think three years or something now but before no because this is how i look at it because the countries like scotland ireland and them they don’t support the pacific island teams they want to keep them down here huh of course keep them down here because if those players they used to play with their team these go back to the islands they’re going to start beating them [Applause] once you play for tonga you can’t play for anyone else forever now it’s three years come on all blacks you’ve turned down to three years look at that [Music] [Music] [Music] man i think they should make one rule for years say you have to play for years in a local for that country for for a lot of years before you uh also eligible to go to another country or play for that country maybe they should just go to the uh olympics rules and abide by that like 99 here here when i missed out the overaction i woke up in 99 i’m going to play for tomorrow because tomorrow was playing the oblast yeah i would love to play against the operation for tonga in 99 yeah but because i already played for new zealand they said nana you can’t play for new zealand now they change it to three years yeah they see the results that’s what they’re afraid of but they’re true they’ll start beating them there’s more funds coming to tonga well they have to live with a trt a tier two team and beating them man so they may as well make it tier one because uh if not they’re gonna it’s like guys always saying hey your cowboy cowboys are cowgirls and then my cowgirls beat them every day of course it’s better to get beat by a tier one team than the tier two team man this is this is great stuff a lot of people is writing in uh is also wrote in again i know it’s only a ceo at this point but how many people are typically on tru’s board would it be beneficial to have a seat for representatives of the people nominated and voted by our local teams and another seat for representative of the players nominated and voted by the players in the national player pool just for transparency that’s a very good point um [Music] uh [Music] they would help every time they have a meeting with the ceo and then that the second question is what i’m puzzled about yeah i think it goes against what we’ve been discussing here tonight yeah that the ceo should pat pick his staff and coach should pick his staff but uh stillness second question here would it be beneficial to have a seat for representative of the people nominated and voted by our local teams [Music] yeah okay yeah i think uh but they also have gotta be on the same boat as the ceo yes you can come mr white and have your own way yeah if that’s gonna happen make sure you’re on the same boat as the ceo the other thing is ceo gonna make build a relationship with the club rugby the local players in conga that’s the most important thing build their relationship and the players side of it uh we got we got uh we got players we we already got their seats so if we needed something to happen with the tiu we go to them holly is one of the player he’s the humanist group of other people for the players so we go straight to harley and them and they go and uh talk to the ceo for us please okay i can i can see a representative from every team okay whether it’s their team president or someone that they pick but someone will come in and because in the nfl they have the owners association players association and well of course the nfl but they also have got to have representatives and i forgot who it is i i i last i remember tim was jean upshaw yeah i know i mean i don’t know who’s the player representative but yeah the players has a union too so we have a union yes so we we make demands and stuff like that um so even even the retired player has has a hand in it too so uh we also have a voice of what what happens to us my next question for doing uh easy is uh what happens if we do have this and the players association becomes strong and they want players local players only to represent what’s your take on that and this it’s all about coming back to going back to the tiu building uh a platform for the local players to come up to come through and because we can’t expect them to just come in and jump into the to the pro world professional world with the skills and the knowledge that they have right we we uh as a tiu that’s the main focus is to build the academy as we always complain about right but then bring in players or coaches from overseas to help them develop their skills and their and talents and through time and rugby union right i think i think if tonga only plays kids from tonga they’re going to be in a big trouble i think that the the players from overseas helped a lot going back to dongla and play because they’re more experienced they’ve been out there and and playing out in a better competition wise than the competition back in the in the islands plus you know the the the more experience that’s just my take i mean if i don’t see don’t i mean i can see it but i think the they’re they’re a lot stronger with with outside players from the oversea players yeah you know go ahead the thing about the tournament players their mind the state of mind is if they get selected for that they know they’re not going to play and they’re all i’m going on a holiday i’m not going to know i’m not going to learn i’m not willing to learn so i’m just here for the good time before i go i might take with you on tour you should be willing to learn from the players over please yeah a sponge up there like just learn everything hey if i’m mine if i’m playing half back i’m gonna go to the whoever’s starting hey man let me hang around with you teach me this share your knowledge with me if i’m like little things like that i don’t see it at all the from 2011 to 2015. that’s how you get better though that’s how you get better yeah every players that came from tower none of them learned they’re only there for the rights well it’s just like um it’s just like um as a kid coming out of college going into the nfl i mean the the older guys are willing to help you yes i agree you know the the older guys are willing to to help you if you ask yeah and to lead you in the right direction hey it’s like it’s like the saying man you can take a horse through the water but you can’t make for someone to drink if the kids don’t want to learn they won’t ask yeah and they won’t learn that’s that’s the problem a so we they had the chance to play against uh some of the super 12 right super rugby players um so we we we came from tonga to play uh waratahs the reds yeah right some of the super rugby players the teams uh all the they’re all super rugby teams and some of the players yeah it’s actually in the team in the super rugby teams and what i did in tonga i when i picked the tonga i only picked local players you know i gave them a chance to show me what you can what you go for and if you haven’t got it and don’t blame me if you get don’t get selected right right yeah right next week on the road with this players all local boys you got then i picked you you know i i think we only one game we won i think one game or two only against fiji and someone but we got hammered by the super rugby teams yeah wow and that’s that was the opportunity i gave the local players okay yeah show me what you got yeah show me what you’re going on yeah guys i i asked this when uh was here i want to ask you guys again what would it take for thunder to have a super 12 team i know there’s got to be sponsorship from somewhere man but is there any chance that we could ever have a super 12 team in dolma where our local players are developed and going out playing each week or maybe twice a month or whatever or however the schedule lays out yeah but to me that’s the only way for our local players to quicken or get the development development out a little faster yeah is if they are in those competitions weekly or bi-weekly because if they sit at home playing in that man i’m watching the the league this last weekend and i’m like man this y’all get fancy much like a knee man belly’s out to here and they’re just barely walking yeah and i’m watching and i’m saying man these guys need to really get down to things if they are really serious about this and train like that there’s lack of training like i said yeah they have nothing to look forward to they don’t see no point or training or putting the effort extra effort for fitness or so right now they’re just doing fun right well that’s the biggest thing is if they if they don’t have a program to push these guys to let them know they said well if you do this there’s going to be a reward for you if you do well you know there’s a team that’s looking out there’s a team they’re watching you play that type of stuff and it’s going to give them incentives for them to know that oh the guy the team from the new zealand it’s they’re watching you if you do this and that you’re going to be able to be able to play for them but like you said there’s no incentive for them at all who to perform to a level that but i’m i’m sure a lot of these kids are talented enough to make it out of


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