Mate Against Mate in Pacific Test
Rabbitohs backs, Kirisome Auva’a and Michael Oldfield, may be brothers in Red and Green, but Saturday night will see them face off when Samoa clash with Tonga at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium for Test Match glory.
In a clash that has consistently resembled a State of Origin encounter – complete with passion, pride and physicality – the two Souths players are completely focused on achieving Test Match glory, so much so that there has been zero banter between them.
“I haven’t spoken to him (Oldfield) this week,” smiled Auva’a.
“It’s all about business and bragging rights, so I don’t think there’ll be the odd ‘hey mate’ on the field. The Samoa and Tonga rivalry is really strong.
“These games are like our State of Origin. We’re going out there to win and that means we’re pretty focused on the job.
“There’ll be plenty of time for that sort of stuff after the game.”
Saturday’s clash represents Auva’a’s Test debut – a goal that the powerful centre set for himself at the beginning of 2016.
“I definitely feel like it’s something that I can tick off my list now, but it’s also about doing a good job now,” said Auva’a.
“There are things that I want to improve in my game as we keep going, and that’s the challenge now.
“It’s been an incredible experience so far. I was born in Samoa, so to be able to represent my country now against Tonga is something very special for me.
“Coming into camp – it’s not like many other footy camps because of that connection we all feel to each other. Whenever Samoans get together, it’s always a lot of fun. We enjoy each other’s company, having a laugh and connecting with our heritage.
“We want to go out and do our country proud this weekend.”
Auva’a is joined by Rabbitohs NYC Coach, David Penna (Samoan Assistant Coach) in the squad, while also being re-united with former teammates Matthew Wright and Sam Tagataese – players with whom he won the Storm Sharks mixed NSW Cup Premiership in 2013.
A total of seven Rabbitohs players will take their place in various representative teams this weekend, including: Greg Inglis (Australia), Kirisome Auva’a (Samoa), Michael Oldfield (Tonga), Tevita Cottrell (Fiji), Aaron Gray, Nathan Brown (City), and Siosifa Talakai (Junior Kiwis).
The Pacific Test between Tonga and Samoa will take place this Saturday, 7 May, at Pirtek Stadium with kick-off slated for 7:40pm.