Sunday 21 January 2018

Saili settling into new surroundings

Francis Saili on his way to scoring his first try for Munster against London Irish
Francis Saili on his way to scoring his first try for Munster against London Irish

Daragh Small

All Black centre Francis Saili says he has bedded in well to the Munster way of life.

The 24-year-old made his Pro12 debut in the win over Ospreys in the last game before the break and already looks at home in the Munster backline.

He arrived from Auckland Blues before the start of the season, and although he picked up a knock in a pre-season clash with London Irish, Saili has settled in fast.

"There is a lot of expectations for me. For myself (it's important) to stick my hand up and do the best that I can," he said.

"I have settled in pretty well. It's a lot different to back home but the boys have made me feel welcome. Everything is going well.

"The people around are lovely. They have made me feel welcome and always say hi. That is something I hold close to me because you always have to be nice to people who are nice to me.

"I am glad to be here now, and be a part of the legacy - a legacy that some of the other Kiwi boys have left behind," added the centre, who crossed for his first try against London Irish.

Saili joined one season after fellow New Zealander Tyler Bleyendaal, and both players made their first starts in the Swansea win.

Saili is enjoying the company of another Kiwi.

"We played against each other back home. He played for Canterbury and I played for Auckland," he explained.

"We had a great rivalry between each other but off the pitch we are great mates and he is a good friend of mine now."

Irish Independent

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