"I had a lot of family support"
The rugby Japan national team has many foreign players. They have the same passion for the national team as Japan players Japan That creates a sense of unity in the team. Tamat Fakatava from Tonga was in tears that day.
(Sports News Department, Reporter Tatsuki Kobayashi)
【Click here for details】Who is Amato Fakatava?
Tears of Jersey Awarding Ceremony
Ahead of the test match against Samoa the following day, the players gathered in one of the hotel rooms.
Jerseys were awarded to the players who won their first cap before the first test match of the season.
Fakatava players called up by Jamie Joseph HC
Amato Fakatava, Nagata Tomoki, Fukui Shodai and Jone Naikabra were called up by head coach Jamie Joseph to come forward.
Then, a surprise video message was played from the players' families.
Surprise messages from family members
Fakatava received messages from his wife, children, relatives and mother.
"Congratulations on your first cap for Japan, I'm really proud and I love you. It's hard to meet him Japan but I'm watching him play for the national team. I love you."
"Amato Let's go"
The loving message from her beloved family brought Fakatava to tears.
: "I'm not really a person who gets this emotional. But when I saw messages from my family, they gave me strength. I care for my life, my future, and my family. Tomorrow will be a special day for me. I think playing in a match is a great opportunity for me. I'm going to give my best tomorrow. On behalf of Japan, I want to make everyone happy. Let's all do our best together tomorrow."
Daito Bunka University era (2015)
Born in Tonga, he came to Japan as an international student in 2015.
I didn't know right or left, but it took me eight years to grab the Sakura jersey of the Japan national team.
It was the moment when Fakatava became the brave cherry blossom warriors "Brave Blossoms".
Returning from injury
After that, an event came that made Fakatava feel even more attached to his family.
Yasaki, who had been active in test matches and was close to qualifying for the 33-man squad for the World Cup, hurt the sole of his left foot in the last test match in Japan against Fiji.
At that time, the doctor gave a diagnosis of two months.
"I might not be able to make it in time for the World Cup,"
Head coach Joseph was also worried about the delay in his return.
On the other hand, he highly appreciated Fakatava's potential and considered him an indispensable force for Japan.
He was temporarily ruled out of the 33-man squad and Fhakatava was forced to accompany him on the European tour as a backup squad and await his recovery from injury.
Tonga's family and relatives support
During that time, I was supported by the encouragement of my family.
: "I thought I couldn't go to the World Cup because of my injury, but I did what I could to rehabilitate, and I think I was able to come back because of the support of my family. I think being here means a lot to me."
Two tries in the first match
After a grueling rehabilitation, he showed incredible resilience and joined the World Cup Japan squad in less than a month, even though he was said to be fully healed for two months.
He was selected by a new roster on 2 August, the deadline for final registration for the tournament.
Scored two tries against Chile in the World Cup
He started the first match against Chile.
Rock, with the number 5, was as lively as he was before he was injured.
He scored two tries with his breakthrough ability and was voted the most successful player of the game.
A circle of joy centered on the jersey number "5"
In the post-match interview, Fakatava himself said he was "unbelievable".
Pool D of the first round of the Japan tournament is a mixed affair, and the tense battle for a spot in the final tournament continues.
First cap against Samoa (7 July)
Japan's next opponent is Samoa, the same opponent against which Fakatava won his first cap.
Since that day when I shed tears and felt the weight of the national team, I am determined to show that I have grown even more.