It doesn’t get any bigger than this for a young man who has grown up dreaming to represent Samoa.
A few weeks ago, Dwayne Polataivao was named in the Manu Samoa squad.
Tomorrow, he will run on to Apia Park as the Manu’s starting halfback, when the team plays Georgia for their opening test this season.
For the 25-year old halfback from Pakuranga United Rugby Club in New Zealand, the reality is slowly sinking in. And he knows the challenge is a mammoth one.
“It’s certainly going to be tough,” he said.
“I think Georgia is bringing it to us physically. But we’ve been preparing for this like it’s a final, so we know what to expect for that one.”
For Polataivao, this very first match for the National Team will have a special meaning.
“This is my debut, so there will always be that kind of magic to that. If I look back, I started picking up the rugby ball at the age of seven, when my parents simply handed me a ball and told me to play. Since then, I’ve never put the ball down.”
This passion for the sport has not sprung from nowhere.
Polataivao’s father was the person that always supported his efforts on the rugby field, and this support still continues.
“My old man was a big believer in rugby and I think my dad always was my biggest coach and he still is today. I admire that for him, no game is a perfect game, you can always be better.”
Since the early days of picking up the ball, Polataivao has come a long way. A way that finally led him to his country’s National Team, in which he will represent Samoa on Saturday.
“It simply is a dream that comes true. The guys that have worn this jersey before me have been stars and I still look up to them.”
As one of the fresh members in the team, Polataivao did receive only the best sort of welcome he could have imagined from his teammates.
“Everybody here from the boys up to the coaching staff, they come with open minds and welcomed everybody with open arms as well, so you really feel like fitting in and I am loving that so far.”
As for young players willing to fill in his footsteps one day in the Manu Samoa Team, Dwayne also had some special advices.
“They should never stop chasing the dream, no matter how hard it might be. Simply never give in and stay loyal in your believes and most importantly, always listen to your parents.”