Wrong blue jersey, but Ioane is home

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 07 July 2024, 7:00PM

He may have been wearing the wrong blue jersey, but 29-year-old Montanna Wilson Ioane was home, he was in the land of his ancestors.

"Monty" is the winger for Italy but has ties to Samoa. His father is Samoan and from the villages of Sapapalii, Leauvaa, and Saleimoa and his mother is from Fiji.

"This is my first time in Samoa, and it is overwhelming to see a lot of people that come up to me and say that we're cousins, or we're related and yet I don't actually know them. But it definitely feels great to be here and play in front of our home crowd. I may be playing for Italy but Samoa is home," he said smiling.

He was born in Australia and stayed there most of his life. His rugby career started in his teens and he was traveling back and forth due to his rugby career.

"I started playing professional rugby at a very young age, and my career took off and it led me to Italy where I'm currently playing from. I moved to France and I played there, then went to New Zealand to join another rugby team, then back to Australia for a bit, before I decided to play in Italy," said Ioane.

Speaking to Samoa Observer, Ioane is honoured for the opportunity he got to play in Samoa.

"I also have cousins who are played in the Manu Samoa."

Monty's performance during the clash against Manu Samoa on Friday evening was spectacular. His fast movement and tackling was spot on.

His uncle and former Wallaby, Tuala Digby Ioane, in an interview with Samoa Observer expressed how proud he was to see his nephew perform in front of his family and his nation Samoa.

"He did so well. I am so proud of him as his uncle and as a former player of the game as well. Watching Monty out there doing his thing brings us, his family pure joy. Even though they lost to Samoa but I am sure deep down he is proud and happy about this match. Samoa did not take this lightly, they did exceptionally well," he said.

Tuala reminisces on the time when he played for the Wallabies against Samoa in 2011, when Australia lost.

"I remember the time I played for the Wallabies and we lost to Samoa, but I was so happy and proud because deep down in my heart Samoa is home. And no matter where you were born and raised, if you have the Samoan blood running through you then Samoa will always be home to you," he said proudly.


Rugby union
By Vaelei Von Dincklage 07 July 2024, 7:00PM
Samoa Observer

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