Hooker Elia is ready to help the Harlequins defeat the Wasps on Saturday in their bid for a spot for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs and to prove to the Samoa selectors that he must be part of their World Cup team in Japan. Fans are excited to get their online tickets for Rugby World Cup to see live performances of their favourite team and players.
Elia, who has six selections for the test, is a good example for players participating in the World Under-20 Championship in Argentina next month, that impressing on this scene can change your life in rugby.
In 2016, he was followed for the first time by Quins as No8 and played for Samoa at this age championship. He then joined hooker, making his senior international debut a year later against France and delivering a performance that convinced the London club to give him a short-term contract.
Harlequins’ rugby chief Paul Gustard was so impressed with the potential shown by the 23-year-old Christchurch-born hooker that he handed him a three-year contract earlier this year.
“Elia is so laid-back that he’s horizontal, but he’s a very talented rugby player with a natural sense of play, unbelievable raw brute power, and great speed. That makes him one of the most dangerous bullets in the world with prostitutes,” said the Quins boss.
Elia’s intensely physical style has made him a favourite of the Twickenham Stoop fans and he desperately wants to restore faith by securing him a place in the playoff on the last day of the regular season at the Ricoh Arena.
The Quins are currently in fifth place, one point from Northampton. They must go Saturday to the leader Exeter. Elia has nothing but praise for the effect Gustard has had on the club since he gave up his role as a defensive coach in England. However, he admits that the players took a long time to deliver what their rugby chief required.
The team is now operating with the defensive ferocity required by Gustard. Combined with offensive play, this makes it a dangerous force at its crucial point of the season.
“It’s a long season with ups and downs and being so close to the playoffs is really exciting,” Elia said.
I think we have now adapted to what Paul wants. It was quite difficult in pre-season, but we have become a team and everyone is on the same page. Our victory over Leicester put us in this position to fight for the top four.
I was lucky to be able to take advantage of this opportunity with the Quins and I love the atmosphere. I will continue to do what I can for the quins and if the call comes from Samoa for the World Cup, then I will be overwhelmed.
Elia believes that this World Cup in Japan will have a real impact on the three main island nations – Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. As all their star players will be part of the national teams.
“The fact that all players are available and clubs release them is really important,” he said.
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