All Blacks will come: Sir Henry

Le'aupepe Victor Vito, Sir Graham Henry and New Zealand HighCommissioner, Nick Hurley with the Webb Ellis Cup. [Samoa Observer]

Rugby World Cup fever returned to the streets of Apia on Monday.

This time, it was World Cup winning coach, Sir Graham Henry, All Black Le’aupepetele Victor Vito and the coveted Webb Ellis Trophy that got scores of Samoans excited.

Le’aupepe hoisted the trophy during a parade along Beach Road to the delight of supporters who braved the hot sun to catch a glimpse of the silverware. Rumours the Cup that arrived in Apia yesterday morning is a replica were dismissed by Sir Graham Henry.

“This is the same Cup that Richie McCaw lifted at last year’s Rugby World Cup,” he told the Samoa Observer. Le’aupepe Vito said yesterday was a special moment for him.

“We just wanted to share our achievements of the All Blacks with our people back home,” he said.

“This year marked the 50th Anniversary of Samoa’s independence as well as 50 years of friendship between New Zealand and Samoa.

So bringing the cup here was a sign of that friendship.”


Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said seeing the Cup should motivate the young players of Samoa.

Speaking at the end of the parade, Tuilaepa said; “The cup being in Samoa is something all your rugby players should see as a challenge.

The 2011 Rugby World Cup was ours for the taking. The cup belongs in Samoa.” Earlier in the day, Sir Henry and Le’aupepe were at Leifi’ifi College for a coaching clinic.


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