Fatausi becomes a slice of England

The village of Fatausi in the district of Safotulafai in Savaii became the newest and most remote of the British Isles on Friday as the village covered every house in red-and-white flags. 

They worked in unity in support of their "son" and village chief, who is playing for England in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final, Tuita'asaualii "Manu" Tuilagi.

The village will watch as one in front of a big screen out in the village's field cheering for the English boys, particularly England's number 13.

On behalf of the village, Tuilagi Vaefaga Laniselota Kaisa, the village mayorm said they are very proud of their "son"

"As you may know, not everyone can get up to the professional level he (Manu) is now," he said.

"It is a dream for all boys to grow up and become successful rugby players, but some never make it out of Samoa successfully.

"But Manu has made a big name for himself and has come out successful like his other brothers.

"For sure his journey to where he is now wasn't easy. Which is why we are so proud of the person he has become and the reason why we give him our full support.

"We give him out utmost respect as well because he is a matai, carrying the title, Tuita'asaualii from Fatausi."

The decision to support England was passed in a village meeting on Monday.

"The main reason why we support England is because of our "son", said Tuilagi.

"Tuita'asaualii is a son of this village. He was born and raised here and spent his childhood here in the village.

"Therefore, we decided to decorate the village with England flags to show our support and to send encouragements to our "son"
Nevertheless, Tuilagi described Manu as a very kind and humble person, who remains loyal to his identity.

"Tuita'asauali'i or Manu Tuilagi isn't like the other typical Samoans who travel overseas, become successful and come back home and be a snob to the people in the village.

"Everytime Manu visits his family and village, he is always respectful towards the elders and the people of the village.

"He takes good care of his parents and you never see him being a show-off.

"The one thing i notice about him during his visits is that he loves fishing with his relatives.

"He still does Samoan chores around the house everytime he visits which shows how loyal he is to his culture and roots. He is a Samoan through and through.

"Fame and wealth did not brainwash him or make him forget where he came from and that's what we love about Manu."
Asked about his opinion on who is going to win tonight, Tuilagi said England has a fair chance of winning this year's trophy.

"The way we see, England has a fair chance of winning this year's World Cup.

"They defeated the number one team in the world, which was the All Blacks, so I'm sure they will smash the South African team.

"But it's all up to the man above. Rugby is an unpredictable game, you never know what will happen and what to expect. However, we are behind Manu and cheering for England.

"No matter what the results will be, we will always be proud of Manu and his journey."

What is their message to Manu Tuilagi?

"Like what Fe'epo said to his son Leatiogie, "Ia pouliuli lou tino, ae malamalama ou mata ma ia tafe toto ou ala." Which translate as : 

"May your body be stealth, your vision clear, your paths be filled with blood (of the enemy).

"O ou mama na. (Those are your lungs.)

"We are praying and cheering for you all the way from Savaii.

"Be strong at heart and may God be with you as you prepare for one of the greatest moments in your career as a rugby player."

On the other hand, there are also players with roots in Fatausi playing for Toa Samoa today, which is the village have decorated the village with both England and Samoa flags up on the side of the road.

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