Fifita ready to introduce himself
When you’re a winger who stands at 6’5” and tips the scales at 120kg, it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to stay under the radar.
Indeed, in the case of Walter Fifita, the Warrior Nation’s sense of anticipation around his potential debut has only been heightened since his arrival at Scotstoun back in October. A barnstorming display for Tonga at BT Murrayfield in the Autumn Nations Series served notice of what the 24-year-old can do, his bulldozing of Scotland defenders setting the social media discussion fora ablaze.
A shade over two months on and that eagerly awaited debut in Glasgow colours is now within touching distance, after the winger was selected in a matchday 23 for the first time by Head Coach Danny Wilson. No-one, though, is more excited than Fifita himself.
“I’m stoked,” he told glasgowwarriors.org.
“I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow with the team.
“I want to give a shout out to all the boys for having my back – they’ve been looking out for me, always telling me to keep working hard and my opportunity would come. They’ve been great with me.
“I also want to thank my family, my friends and my girlfriend back home, because they’ve always believed in me. It’s been hard, but without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
In a position stacked with international-calibre talent, the enjoyment with which Fifita has settled into life at Scotstoun is evident. Keen to learn and improve, the big man is ready to do whatever it takes to make sure his side comes out on top in a crucial clash against their closest rivals in the United Rugby Championship standings.
“The Ospreys are a good team, and we know they’ll bring a lot of pressure through their defence,” said Fifita.
“They’re a physical team and they have some really good players, so we know it’s up to us to front up to what they bring and make sure we get the right result.
“Personally, I’ve been focusing on making sure I know my role in every part of our game. I’ve been keeping my head down in training, working hard and hoping that I’d get my chance to pull on the Glasgow jersey and run out for this club.”
Fifita will be making his own small piece of Glasgow Warriors history tomorrow evening, however. If, as and when the winger comes on to the field, it will be the first time the club will have been represented by a Tongan back – something that makes the man himself proud as he looks to endear himself to supporters across the Warrior Nation.
“I didn’t know that stat until the boys told me, so it was a really cool thing to find out,” smiled Fifita.
“Hopefully I get onto the field and make everyone proud, too.
“I love to be physical when I’ve got the ball, but I also want to focus on making sure I’m just as physical in defence. I want to show everyone that I’m not just a ball-carrier but I can defend well too – I want to help this team be successful.”