Japan Tour Diary Day 6

Day 6 Konichiwa!

It’s a rest day. Still up at 6.15am, although Mr Kirkham did have to encourage a few boys to get up out of their bunks. Breakfast and then we were able to have another sleep. Again Mr Kirkham woke us up for a team meeting where today’s programme is shared. Light training run and then into town for lunch at a Yaki Niku restaurant. The boys are a bit nervous about the injury to Legin’s hand and the Doc picks him up to take him for an x-ray. Training goes well with a few changes due to Legin’s hand and Kalani’s sore leg. Nic McCurran has been quite a revelation at halfback. Later in the day he is surprised when asked by the Higashi halfback to give him some passing tips. Obviously all the tuition by Matty Green is paying off.

We travel by minibuses to the restaurant. We all pile in and the parents are there to meet us. Jojo and Motoko explain to the boys how the feed works and we tuck in. Man, what a feed we had. It is a bit like a barbie but at your table and you can choose salads as well. Most of the boys are into the meat without too much thought to the salads!!! Ayden and Legin do a couple of speeches to thank the parents for their support and special mentions to all the Hemi whanau for everything they have done for us, which is heaps. Tumeke whanau!!! The boys then finish the lunch with a few songs which the parents seemed to like. Had to make sure Sam and Harry toned their singing down because “nek minit” everyone might have been covering their ears!!! Back to the vans after a few kisses and cuddles from the parents and then we head back to Global Arena with full puku’s.

I’m getting a bit nervous that some of the boys are working out who I am. Ayden is worse than Sherlock Holmes and seems obsessed at tracking down the real No. 18. He is a prop though so I’m hopeful it will be a slow process and his obsession with eating will be a distraction.

Dinner at 7.10pm and then team meeting. We start as usual with the coaches on the guitar. They seem determined to teach us every song that was recorded in the 1960s. I kind of enjoy it though as it reminds me of the songs my parents, grandparents and great grandparents would have sung before the war. Aaron also chimes in with a few old numbers. Singing always brings out the best in us and we smile, laugh and mock each other, in a nice way of course. Mrs Clark updates the latest emails and the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’ drops to 6. Cam, Vili, Shan, Zac, Aaron and Jermayne are really feeling it and start offering big Yen if someone can organise an email to them. We also get the latest news from home including the Chiefs big win over the Lions. Mean! Because we don’t usually have our phones, the emails are our connection with home. We’ve been away for 12 days now and although it’s been ‘mean as’ some of us are feeling a bit homesick. Nothing like good old NZ!

The meeting switches to tomorrow’s semi against Tokai University Gyosei High School. The squad is named and I’m in there. Legin’s out for tomorrow but thankfully the x-rays showed no broken bones. We talk strengths, weaknesses and tactics and finish the meeting with a brothers call. I lie in my bunk, writing my individual goals for tomorrow, update my diary and taking a few notes for my next report….always very wary of detective Ayden who is getting way too close for comfort.


A nervous No. 18

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