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One on one with: Fiao’o Fa’amausili

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allblacks.com     20 Jul 2017     Getty Images

Fa’amausili debuted for the Black Ferns in 2002 and will be playing in her fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup in August.

How is the body after the International Women’s Series in June?
The body is holding up okay! It’s recovering alright. I have had a few visits to specialists but it is holding up and getting ready for the next battle.

QUICK TAP: TEN THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE BLACK FERNS

What is the feeling inside the Black Ferns camp with the Women’s World Cup approaching?
The team is really excited. There is a lot of talk about the World Cup. There are a lot of sold out games and the girls are looking forward to that. In general the team is really excited because we had a great feeling during the June series and can’t wait to get to Ireland and take the field again.

How are the excitement levels for you heading into your fifth World Cup?

I never thought that I would get to play in five World Cups. Playing in two was a bonus but I’m very honoured and excited to play in my fifth. 

What do you know about your pool opponents?
We have played Canada a few times recently so we know they have a strong pack and are well drilled. They have been constantly improving so will be a big challenge. I don’t know much about Wales but they have been improving with more international play in the 6 nations. Hong Kong are an unknown - it will be their first time in the tournament this year. There’s a lot of rugby being played over that side of the world though so we cannot take them lightly.

Who will the biggest threats be for the title?

Everyone will be a threat but the biggest for us will be England, Canada and the home side Ireland. Being the Women’s Rugby World Cup you have to play every game like it’s your last.

What do teams need to do to beat England?

England have done their homework and been together for quite a while. For us it is just building on each game. If we do our job well in the three pool games we might come up against them in the semifinals or final. With England we have to make sure to shut them down early - particularly upfront.

How challenging will it be to play in the Irish conditions?
It will be challenging but we are used to four seasons in one day coming from New Zealand! The team takes a lot of pride in our performance so the weather won’t be an issue for us.

How good is it to have the support from back home?
We base our Black Ferns culture around family, and to have family, friends and fans backing us is huge. Being away from home and having that support group – even just emails or messages on Instagram – is massive for us.

Finally, talk us through that amazing moment between the Black Ferns and Maori All Blacks in June?

That moment still gives me goose bumps. To have those two teams in one room and performing their haka at the same time was amazing. The team was still buzzing about it a week after. When we see the footage it is so meaningful. It was an on the spot moment. It was heartfelt and all the girls were buzzing.
The 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be played in Ireland from 9-26 August.

BLACK FERNS POOL MATCHES

Thursday, 10 August – Black Ferns v Wales (kick-off at 1.45am NZT)
Sunday, 13 August – Black Ferns v Hong Kong (kick-off at 11pm NZT)
Friday 18 August – Black Ferns v Canada (kick-off at 4.15am NZT)