Wiki back for Samoan team
Ruben Wiki will realise a lifelong rugby league dream when he runs out for a tsunami disaster relief benefit match at Mt Smart Stadium tomorrow wearing the colours of his mother’s homeland, Samoa.
Wiki, New Zealand rugby league’s most capped international, is coming out of retirement especially for the match between a Samoan Residents team and a BarterCard selection.
He is the only expatriate in the Toa Samoa side and he’s all revved up to go.
“This will definitely be a dream come true,” he says.
“I’ve always wanted to play for Samoa. It’s the only thing in league I haven’t done.”
Wiki’s mother Etesa is Samoan. Her villages, Magiagi and Safotulafai, were untouched by last week’s tsunami.
“The families are all safe,” Wiki says. “Mum was worried sick when news of the tsunami broke but she’s okay now.”
And Wiki’s good mate the Mad Butcher, Peter Leitch, is also coming out of retirement to cook a barbecue at the game.
He’s donating all the sausages, cooking them himself and then matching dollar for dollar everything raised up to $5000.
Auckland Regional Council is waiving all charges for the use of the council-owned stadium and is urging people to get along to the game.
All gate proceeds from the game, along with funds from a bucket collection, will go to the Samoan tsunami relief fund.
Gates open at 2pm. The curtainraiser is a 10-minutes each way Fetu Samoa v Auckland Invitational wom- en’s sevens match kicking off at 2.30pm. The main game starts at 3.30pm.
Tickets adults $5, children 15 and under $2, under-2s free. Gate sales only.
Back into it: Rugby league great Ruben Wiki gets in some practice in the gym ahead of tomorrow’s tsunami disaster relief match.