Matapakia proud to wear green jersey

Monday June 18, 2018 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Matamanea Matapakia played for the Cook Islands at the Hong Kong Sevens this year. Matamanea Matapakia played for the Cook Islands at the Hong Kong Sevens this year.

Local player Matamanea Matapakia is one of the frontrunners for a place in the Cook Islands team for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers against Hong Kong later this month.

In a special Q&A session with Cook Islands Rugby Union, the Atiu player discusses his passion for the game and his chances of making the team.


What island are you and your family from?

I hail from the island of Atiu.

What’s your favourite childhood memory?

My favourite childhood memory is when I caught my first fish with my dad in Atiu. That is where I picked up an interest in fishing.

What’s your favourite catch?

My favourite fish to catch is a giant trevally or tuna.

Proudest moment of all time?

Proudest moment is putting that green jersey on and repping the country, the people of the Cook Islands, and not forgetting my number one supporters, my family.

Who on the island is your most respected player and why?

Teina Savage is my most respected player on the island because he has been representing the country for years and I have learnt a lot from him.

What is your favourite island feed and who makes it?

My favourite island food is umu food and pork chow mein. My mum use to make it – now my wife makes it for me.

What is the most important part of your preparation for a game?

The most important part of my preparation for a game: I stay hydrated, I relax, listen to music that’ll keep me pumped, say my prayer, and then I’m good to go.

What does your typical weekend consist of?

I like to train and do activities with my family in the weekend. On Sundays, my family and I go to church.

What would it mean to represent the Cook Islands in rugby 15s?

It will be another great achievement for me if I am to represent the Cook Islands in the upcoming qualifiers. It gives me the honour and privilege to wear that green jersey again, to represent the people of the Cook Islands. I hope to inspire others to join and love the sport.

Who is your favourite all-time sportsman?

My favourite all-time sportsman is Greg Inglis. He has been my favourite rugby star since I was at school. I love the way he goosesteps and plans his tactics on the field. I love the way he runs, the way he fends, his strength – he is just a machine.

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