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I have a lot of love for Sammy and Motu, and I know their family and friends have a lot of love for them. They’re both from Wellington, but now live in the UK as Motu plays professional rugby for Gloucester, which meant Sammy organising their wedding day via emails from the UK. With the timezone difference, we’d often catch each other at the start, or very end of the day, and I have to hand it to her for doing such a great job when you’re so far from home.

I first met Motu a few years ago when I was playing Under 21 rugby for Oriential-Rongotai. He was in the Premier team then, and spent a lot of his time helping others at the club, including our team. He was often on the sidelines offering words of encouragement, and I knew then he had a serviceman’s heart. A few years later he made the Wellington Lions team, then Hurricanes, followed by his International Debut with the Manu Samoa team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. At his side supporting him through thick and thin was Sammy.

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