For Wellingtonians its Welcome to the Players!! The boys were received @ a Welcome Service at Methodist Church on Taranaki St as organised as always by Nai Vakatawa Edward Bower assisted by Viliame Naliva & the the Fijian Congreagration there.
Everyone is always welcomed to attend & share a Fijian meal with the boys.
It is a humbling experience for all especially when home turf is so troubled as viewed by the rest of the world.
It has been noted due to a quick rehash of the teams Management with 7's favourite Serevi abscent many supporters did not turn up. This has dampen the spirits of the Fijian locals here however, their love of Fiji Sevens rugby still shone through in the end.
As from previous years the Fiji Community have been able to mingle freely with the players but not so this year. It appears the new Manager has put in place the 'Bai Paodi' security rules.
In short, the players freedom of speech, movement, interactions with relatives here etc has been barred to a point. All calls or messages to any players are put through to the Manager's room. Players are conveniently told to go for walks or vanish when relatives call in to check on an individual. Surnames of a few have been changed?? ...the list goes on......
One wonders whether the 'instructions to gag'...has filtrated the core of Aotearoa especially when everyone who are Fiji supporters are on the upbeat for the Players.