He had a long way to travel to get to Samoa.
But Castleford Tigers’ wing, Denny Solomona, is incredibly happy to be finally in Samoa.
The 22-year-old from the villages of Apia and Falealili was among the squad named yesterday to play Fiji at the Apia Park this weekend.
He is not only happy to be wearing the blue and white jersey, but he is also excited to be here in time to celebrate 30 years of Rugby League in Samoa.
“It’s a privilege and honor to be part of the team,” said Solomona.
“I was born in Auckland but growing up with my grandparents, all they talk about is Samoa, and I am playing on behalf of my family representing this country and myself as well.
“It’s amazing to be here as Samoa is celebrating 30 years of rugby league in Samoa.
“It’s got a lot of history and this coming game is going to prove how Samoa has grown over the years and hopefully we can come out with a win.”
Denny is one of the players who had just arrived.
“The boys were very welcoming when I first joined the camp. Its part of our Samoan culture, you bond with everyone, that’s what we do.
“We socialize with other people and it didn’t take long for me to mix with the boys and they made me feel at home when I first arrived and I love it.
“And it’s good to have our first set out today (yesterday) and trainings with the boys I am looking forward to the game.”
Although it may seem like there will be a lot of pressure for Denny as this will be his first time playing for Toa Samoa and especially in front of the whole country, the 22-year-old said that is not a problem.
“There is no pressure at all,” said Denny.
“It’s always a privilege to play for your country and especially here in front of the whole country, so nothing better than that.”
What got Denny into playing Rugby League?
“Melbourne Storm,” he said.
“I used to watch Melbourne Storm when I was a kid, and I was playing rugby union at the time, then I got an opportunity to play for Melbourne storm, and I’ve loved it ever since.
“I have been playing for six to seven years now and I am based in the United Kingdom playing for Castleford Tigers now.”
What can we expect from the game on Saturday?
“A lot of physical plays,” said Denny.
“We’ve got some big boys and obviously Fiji is a big team as well, and hopefully we will entertain the crowd.”