Tim the tour guide for Manu in Japan
Manu Samoa fullback Tim Nanai-Williams is enjoying being on familiar ground in Japan, although some of his teammates are using him as a bit of a tour guide.
The 30-year-old from the villages of Manono and Falelatai is no stranger to the country having played for Japanese club Ricoh Black Rams in 2015/16.
“I missed the food, that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve missed,” Nanai-Williams said.
He said it’s good be back in a place where he has some good memories.
However that familiarity has prompted some of the other Manu Boys to ask him what Japan would be like before the team came to the Rugby World Cup:
“I said it’s going to be very hot, humid, the food really good.
“Stay away from the rice; obviously us Polynesian boys we love our rice, and the rice here is next level.”
Nanai-Williams was also asked what the Japanese people were like:
“I said to them, people here are very respectful, just like us as Samoan people.
“We bow to our elders and stuff like that, it’s exactly the same as here in Japan.”
The fullback missed Samoa’s Pacific Nations Cup campaign, before re-joining the Manu ahead of their World Cup build-up matches against the New Zealand Heartland XV and Australia.
“It made me work hard when I was away from the team,” said Nanai-Williams.
“As soon as I got here the boys were on another level, so it was up to me to get there.”
He was taken aback by the team’s fitness levels, and said this is the fittest Samoa team he has been apart of since making his debut in 2015:
“We’re in a good space, physically and mentally.
“We’re feeling pretty positive at the moment, just like any other team we’re here to try lift that Cup at the end of the tournament.”
Nanai-Williams said the players need the fans right behind the players, because achieving that won’t be easy.
“But support us as much as you can, that’s all we ask for, and we’ll put our best foot forward in this World Cup for you guys,” he said.