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Gloucester Rugby: Davies takes advantage of the Kalamafoni connection

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

Sione Kalamafoni

Comments (23)

A DOUBLE sales-pitch was the least Sione Kalamafoni could do to help out another member of his global family.

The Kingsholm back-rower had Nigel Davies asking him about Lua Lokotui – and Lokotui asking him about Gloucester.

It was a total no-brainer for the brutal back-rower to endorse fellow Tongan Lokotui to Gloucester, and vice versa.

First he genuinely saw both parties as a good fit – but then he also had to pay due respect to the Pacific Islanders code.

It is a cultural standard for Polynesians to look out for one another, wherever the world takes them.

So just as Akapusi Qera hosted Kalamafoni for a few days when he arrived in the summer, so the former Nottingham 24-year-old has helped Lokotui settle in with the Cherry and Whites.

Kalamafoni explained: "You know what any club will expect from you, but I told Lua about the great stadium and atmosphere and the fantastic set-up and strong feeling within the squad.

"I explained a little bit about the background of the club, and said that he would love it here.

"It's a great place to be, and I just summed that up.

"Nigel mentioned Lua's name to me and asked about him.

"I said I know he's a good player and that he would come and definitely do his job.

"But then a bit further down the line he came and asked me again, just to make sure of what I'd said because he wanted to sign him.

"So I told Nigel he's a really good player, and the backbone of the Tongan team."

Ex-Hawke's Bay captain Lokotui scored a try in Tonga's 21-15 win over Scotland in Aberdeen in November.

The 33-year-old arrived in December and made his debut in Gloucester's 26-7 LV=Cup defeat at Northampton two weeks ago.

Kalamafoni thinks the former Stade Francais lock has quickly got to grips with Kingsholm life.

He continued: "For us coming from a small country though, whenever we are abroad everyone is a family.

"We tend to connect together naturally.

"It's very important to have those kinds of connections when you go somewhere new or different.

"Wherever we go we know there will be someone to help us if we need anything.

"When I arrived I stayed with Q for a couple of days, and it's a great connection.

"There's a really strong spirit there, it is part of the culture.

"It's the way we're brought up.

"At least for me at home, we didn't have much as youngsters growing up, so we had to share everything.

"That becomes second-nature, and then you just continue that on all the time.

"So I've tried my best to make sure Lua's settling in, and I think he's already making a good job of all that."

Gloucester return to Northampton on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm), starting a crucial four-match Premiership sequence.

Kalamafoni said Gloucester's fastest route back to winning ways after Saturday's 32-5 Bath defeat is to trust the coaches' methods.

He added: "It's a very important few weeks coming up, we've got to get our heads around these games.

"The most important thing is to make sure we hit the right levels and play to the best of our abilities.

"Sticking to the gameplan is the most crucial part: the coaches provide us with what we need to go out there and win games.

"And we have to make sure we don't go away from that."

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  • jasonbennett3  |  February 07 2013, 7:57PM

    Harden owns the number 3 shirt. He has no real competition for it.

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  • chuycastillos  |  February 07 2013, 7:56PM

    I just hope Harden is starting against Saints. Remember the unedifying sight of a Gloucester front row being march backwards by a poor Sarries' front row in that last scrum at Vicarage Road? Never again! ...But then we had the demolition of our front row at Welford road when Harden was out injured. Never again! ...But then our scrum is stuffed against Irish, second from the bottom, and we end up losing in the Premiership at Kingsholm whilst Harden was still out injured.

    |   5
  • Nick_Iewis  |  February 07 2013, 7:51PM

    Rupert Harden has 9 starts out of 13 premiership games for Gloucester this season, plus another two. That makes him the top rated tight head at Gloucester in anyone's books (except for the sad troll dave_rh/Stig1/akadau/graybaggs/Kap721 who is pretty clueless about everything, really).

    |   5
  • freshhglaws  |  February 07 2013, 7:49PM

    Nigel Davies picks the team. He has a choice of tight heads, yet, when it comes to the key games, he always goes for Harden.

    |   6
  • haztooms  |  February 07 2013, 7:47PM

    Harden has been having a storming season. It is no wonder he has been selected to start the most games of all the front row forwards. And not just any old games. It has been the key games where you need your best players.

    |   5
  • dougiebailey  |  February 07 2013, 7:46PM

    Rupert Harden is an utterly brilliant tight head and Nigel Davies knows it, hence 9 out of 13 Premiership starts.

    |   6
  • stewglos  |  February 07 2013, 7:45PM

    Harden had a fantastic performance on Saturday, just as he has had for the season so far.

    |   6
  • garthshawX  |  February 07 2013, 7:42PM

    Rupert Harden is, without doubt, the best tight head at Gloucester Rugby. We need, however, to get him some adequate back up because these isn't any at the moment.

    |   6
  • Steve_George  |  February 07 2013, 7:41PM

    The scrum is never as strong as it is with Rupert Harden playing. He is Gloucester Rugby's first choice when it comes to the tough games. If he had been fit, he would have started against Leicester and Irish in the Premiership and our scrum would not have been so ineffectual.

    |   7
  • SimonGray  |  February 07 2013, 7:40PM

    Let's face facts, Harden has been the star turn in the scrum for the last 18 months or so. It is really noticeable how poorly the scrum performs without him.

    |   7