Brian Downey and Osian Griffiths to take on Wales
‘The Wizards’ have a pair of internationals on their hands.
Brian Downey and Osian Griffiths are currently Aberavon Rugby Clubs’ physiotherapists and have been working with the Fijian International rugby team for their Autumn Internationals. They take on Wales today at the Principality Stadium.
This is Brian’s sixth stint with the Fijian team.
“The players and management welcomed me into the squad and we bonded quickly. It helped knowing some of the players from previous trips”, said Brian.
But this time Brian is relishing the opportunity to take on Wales.
“It’s great to face a top tier team and see the boys rise to the challenge. I’m especially looking forward to seeing some of the younger players show their talent. The atmosphere in Principality Stadium on game day is always fantastic”, added Brian.
“there’s no denying I will cherish the moment when the anthems come on at the Principality, and I will for sure be singing the Welsh national anthem under my face mask”
This will be Osian’s first taste of international rugby.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’ve loved experiencing rugby at an International level.
It’s been challenging within a short 3-week camp to quickly get to know 28 players personally as well their medical backgrounds, but this has developed during gym sessions, treatment sessions and long travelling journeys”, commented Osian.
Likewise, Osian is very excited about the prospect of facing Wales and speaks of the challenge ahead.
“Wales will be our toughest opponents of all three test matches of this tour, but the boys and coaching staff have worked hard in camp this week to plan for this.
Although I am associated with Fiji for this November tour, there’s no denying I will cherish the moment when the anthems come on at the Principality, and I will for sure be singing the Welsh national anthem under my face mask”, said Osian.
Aberavon are extremely proud of their achievements and their involvement and exposure at international level can only benefit the environment upon their return.
“A big learning for me is ow important it is to have good open communication between players and management to identify potential issues early and nullify their impact.
Also being strict with the squad bubble to prevent any chance of infection in the team”, said chief medial man Downey.
Osian spoke of the learnings around the culture of Fijian rugby.
“The biggest learning experience for me has been adapting and being a part of the Fijian culture throughout the day and evening Lotu, and seeing how their culture is positively implemented into their game and everything they do”.
Having characters around the game is really important especially when operating in a COVID bubble whilst being a long way from home. We ask Brain and Osian who the characters were in the group.
“Nicola Matawalu for his humour and energy that he brings to the team on and off the field”, said Brian.
“The player I’ve warmed to the most is Peni Ravai, a gentle giant. He loves to joke and sing, and of course scrummage.
The other evening we were having a sauna in the hotel, he turned to me and asked “do you like The Lion King pal?”, and I said yes, to which he then gave a beautiful rendition of the ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’”, commented Osian.
We wish Brian an Osian the best of luck on their journey whilst we send good luck to both Fiji and Wales for todays game.