Fiji Sun

Campese Ma’afu back for Flying Fijians

Ma’afu: Tough match, dad is not around

- WAISEA NASOKIA Edited by Leone Cabenatabu­a

Vodafone Flying Fijian loosehead prop Campese Ma’afu joined the Vodafone Flying Fijians during their gruelling training session at Prince Charles Park, Nadi yesterday.

This Saturday’s 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying clash against Tonga at Teufaiva Stadium, Nuku’alofa won’t be an easy time for the tough prop.

Firstly, Ma’afu’s dad and ardent fan recently passed away and won’t be at the ground to cheer him on. Secondly, the 32-year-old will be playing against his fellow countrymen.

Ma’afu, a Tongan national, qualified to play for the Flying Fijians through his mum who hails from Tavuki in Kadavu.

“I was thinking about it when I was coming on the plane,” he told SUNsports. “It will be a tough one as I always look to the stands and my dad is always there. He has been to Fiji to watch me play. It will be tough to look to the stands and he’s not there, it is a tough pill to swallow. It will be a bit easy for him as he will have a better view now from up above and will be guiding me around.” Ma’afu said his dad passed away during the preparatio­n week for the Scotland Test match in Suva. “He passed away and unfortunat­ely I had to return to lay him to rest. All is done and said- and back with the squad now and just want to hit the ground running with the opportunit­y to the don white jersey.”

Ma’afu said he’s fresh, excited and ready to take on the Tongans in a hard and physical game.

He knows the challenge won’t be a walk in the park but he has been to the mill before and understand­s what is required.

“It is just like any other match really, every time we put on the jersey and play it’s just important regardless who we’re playing against. Tonga always has a special place in my heart since it’s my native country,” he added.

The Flying Fijians depart for Tonga today.

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 ?? Photo: Waisea Nasokia ?? Vodafone Flying Fijian prop Campese Ma’afu feels the strain as they undergo a gruelling scrummagin­g session at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on July 3, 2017.
Photo: Waisea Nasokia Vodafone Flying Fijian prop Campese Ma’afu feels the strain as they undergo a gruelling scrummagin­g session at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on July 3, 2017.
 ?? Photo: Waisea Nasokia ?? From left: Vodafone Flying Fijians forwards Leone Nakarawa and Campese Ma’afu during training at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on July 3, 2017.
Photo: Waisea Nasokia From left: Vodafone Flying Fijians forwards Leone Nakarawa and Campese Ma’afu during training at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on July 3, 2017.

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