Tuesday 13 November 2018

Samoan brothers Ofisa Treviranus and Alapati Leiua relishing Ireland clash

Ofisa Treviranus
Ofisa Treviranus

Nick Purewal

Brothers Ofisa Treviranus and Alapati Leiua are relishing their family reunion in Samoa's national squad.

The siblings could line up alongside each other against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.

Playing alongside a brother in Ireland is nothing new for London Irish and former Connacht man Treviranus, though.

In his solitary season in Galway in 2007-08, he turned out for Connacht with Ray Ofisa - his elder brother.

After a decade apart growing up, 29-year-old Treviranus revealed his pride at younger brother Leuia's elevation to full Samoa honours.

Treviranus progressed from home village side Malie to the Samoa Sevens outfit, helping claim the 2010 IRB Sevens World Series crown.

Leiua moved to New Zealand as a youngster, adopted by his uncle to pursue his professional rugby ambitions.

Only 25-year-old Wellington Hurricanes wing Leiua's decision to favour Samoa over the All Blacks has brought the brothers back together.

Flanker Treviranus explained: "My younger brother is doing really well at the Hurricanes.

"Before he decided to come for Samoa, in 2011 the Samoan management wanted him to come to the World Cup.

"But he called me and said he thought he wanted to stay for more experience in Wellington, for another year, because he was young.

"But now, further down the line, he has made the decision for Samoa and he's really happy, and that's great to see.

"It is a tough situation for anyone to be in that position, but it's great for him to make the call to play for Samoa.

"I'm proud he made that decision, but it has to be a player's personal, individual decision.

"I think he's made a good decision for him and I'm happy."

Then-London Irish coach Toby Booth tried to recruit Treviranus ahead of the 2011 World Cup, settling instead for a mid-season arrival after the New Zealand tournament.

Treviranus believes Samoa's coaches place a lot of stall in European experience, but hopes his country's domestic league can continue to evolve.

He continued: "Playing in Europe has taught me a lot of new things and a lot of new options.

"I've learned a lot from the coaches about my role in the team as a loose forward.

"In Samoa there is growing competition, but it's still not big like here.

"Here your whole life and time is rugby, so it builds discipline and changes your behaviour, and all that improves you as a player."

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