Malakai Fekitoa: "I'm very lucky"

The All Black centre attended the pre-game press conference on February 15th. He talked about the way training resumed after a two-week holiday, the four-day training camp at the ski resort of Serre-Chevalier and the upcoming game against Stade Français.
Malakai, what are your impressions after the training camp in Serre-Chevalier?
It was a really good experience. We had fun on and off the pitch. And I think that, when you have fun off the pitch, the good atmosphere then tells on the pitch. I felt that, as the training camp was drawing to a close, there was more togetherness within the team. But now, let’s get back to work. We’ll play an important game this week-end and we have to win it.
How are you feeling, given that you haven’t played for several weeks?
It’s true: I haven’t played for five weeks! It’s never easy, because you can lose the pace. But mental preparation is the key: I’ll have to concentrate on my role on the pitch and do my best for the whole team.
You arrived in Toulon almost six months ago. How do you think you’ve adapted both to the Top 14 and to everyday life here?
I like being here. The weather, the city: I like everything. But it’s never easy to change countries and environments – as for everyone. I had taken much advice before coming here, particularly from players who had already worn the Toulon shirt. I had to adapt, but things have improved with time and, now, I’m really at home here. I’m very lucky to do what I love – playing rugby, I mean – in a great club like Toulon.
What do you think of the Stade Français team?
You know, me and the whole staff always study the teams we’re going to play against. We did it this week for Stade Français. They carry the ball very well and they have great players – particularly the three-quarters, as far as I’m concerned. We all know it will be a test of character.
Photo credits: Thomas Martino, RCT.