A Turncoat who isn’t British

I’m still not sure how I feel about the ongoing drama about whether or not Samoan-born rugby star in the making, Manu Tuilagi should play for England in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Though the youngster has been playing his rugby in the British Isles for the past four years and has even represented England in Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 competitions, you have to wonder how many other kids who were born and raised in that particular Kingdom would rather see his name called up rather than a kid who has only been legally in the country for rugby.

Okay, I’m a bit hot under the collar because obviously my allegiance is to the boys in blue who may or may not need this fleet-footed youngster but its nice to have options. I mean, imagine another Tuilagi wearing blue playing against a Tuilagi wearing white. It just doesn’t add up. But the Tuilagi’s seem to be okay with the fact that their younger brother would be better off with the likes of Martin Johnson instead of Fuimaono Titimaea “Dickie” Tafua? And how odd would it be for Manu (Tuilagi) to be playing Manu (Samoa)?

Okay, my logic still isn’t adding up but the fact of the matter is I was raised Polynesian; to act and be Polynesian and to die as a Polynesian. And in an era where so many athletes would rather trade in their country for a potential pay check it just doesn’t give me the “Do it for the Gipper” attitude for the youngest Tuilagi in the brood. Certainly, the fact that his older brothers have all represented Samoa and are still garnering a pretty good paycheck, making a fairly descent living in England tossing the ball professionally should factor into the equation. Right?

In Samoa they call it “Loto nu’u” and Tonga’s Ikale Tahi’s rugby motto leaves nothing to the imagination; “Mate ma’a Tonga”. Literal translation: “Die for Tonga”. And shouldn’t that be the way for our warriors?

You make the call. Maybe I’ve been dropped on my head too often in the lineout or something but I still can’t make heads or tails on this one.

Tell me what you think!

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