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Taity's Talk - 28 September, Green-haired Tongans!

28 September 2007

I had certainly expected some things from tonight's game but not 22 Tongans dying their hair although they've now been told to rinse it out.

I know Epi Taione relatively well from his days at Newcastle Falcons. I heard he'd changed his name to Paddy Power, which is about right for him as he was always capable of the bizarre and the marvellous. But turning his hair green is probably one of the craziest things he's done.

It's strange that the entire team decided to dye their hair green but there you go - it certainly kept Epi's sponsors happy. 

I wonder if he'll appear in the match programme as Paddy Power. Let's just hope he and Tonga don't have the famed luck of the Irish.

Epi played with me a couple of times in the centre but he also appeared in the back row or wing. He is a very talented and skilful bloke.

I had a bit of a day off on Wednesday so I pottered and chilled and went out for a coffee. It's important when you have a short turnaround like this week to try and stay off your feet as much as you can when you are not training.

The French is coming along slowly. Wilko raided the DVD shop down the road last night and we watched a French movie, a version of a book by Harlan Coban called Tell No-One or Ne le dis � personne.

It was in French with English subtitles so I was trying to pick out odd words and sentences. It was action-packed and it's a very good book if you get the chance to read it.

Yesterday afternoon I went up to the stadium with Jon Callard, Jonny and Olly  Barkley and did some kicking practice. I've played there once before, in the quarter final of the Heineken Cup, when we lost 48-5 and I just had a cameo role.

I'm expecting Tonga to be as physical and skilful as the Samoans. Guys like Finua Maka from Toulouse seem to be very switched on and organised so it's going to be a tough game.

We played a lot better last week but we have to build on the positive bits and cut out the mistakes.

This game is massive and if we don't win we are out - it's as simple as that. But we can't get overawed by the occasion; we have just got to go out and put in a performance.