Halai ready to learn quickly
After a whirlwind few weeks, Frank Halai now has two games in black and gold under his belt and says he is having to learn quickly as he adapts to the Aviva Premiership.
After a good win over last season’s Premiership finalists, Bath, in his debut for the club, Frank Halai and his new teammates were reminded of the league’s competitive nature last weekend, with the trip to Welford Road.
Halai says the side are looking to re-establish their credentials against Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday as he continues to learn about English domestic rugby and adapt to life in black and gold.
“It’s been good so far. I’ve really enjoyed my first few weeks here, the boys have been great with me and it’s been good to be involved straight away. I’m still learning a lot about the league and the way we want to play the game, but it’s been good.
“The first two were tough games. I’m still learning a lot from the other boys, trying to get used to the guys I’m playing with, but I’m enjoying myself. My first game against Bath was a special occasion for me. I’d come into the game on the back of a pretty busy first week of training and to get the win against them was brilliant. Last week wasn’t quite as good, but losing to Leicester just proved to me how tough this league is and that’s all part of the learning experience for me.
“In the short time I’ve been here I’ve just tried to take on board as much as I can about what we’re trying to do and how we want to play. With the conditions we've played in so far, there’s been more emphasis on the kicking game in this league and for a winger that makes the kick chase more important. That’s something that I’m working hard on already and getting used to how the teams play here.
“I’m also looking to get off my wing and get involved in play. If you stay out there you may touch the ball once or twice so you have to come looking for work. I want to work hard and go look for the ball.
This week Wasps have welcomed Halai's fellow Auckland Blue and All Black Charles Piutau into training and Halai says that, with the talent already present in the Wasps backline, it is an exciting mix.
“There’s a lot of very talented guys in the backline here and they enjoy playing attacking. I’ve seen that in training and we’ve seen it in glimpses in the games, but I think there’s a lot more to come when everyone clicks.
“It’s great to have Charles here. When he got here and checked in with the medical team, it was pretty funny watching him stepping our physio! He was involved with the main squad today and it’s been good having him there. He’s a great player and having him here is brilliant.”
This Sunday, Wasps return home to the Ricoh Arena and Halai says that, after being pleasantly surprised by the level of support there on his club debut, he and the rest of the squad are looking forward to getting back there this weekend.
“Gloucester this weekend has turned into a pretty big game. After last week we need to produce a big performance. Playing at the Ricoh Arena has been a big change from back home. Where I come from we don’t have as many supporters coming to watch the game, so playing in front of a big crowd was definitely different. We’re all looking forward to getting back there this weekend and we know that Gloucester can be very good so we’ll have to be better if we want to get the win.”
Tickets for this weekend’s game against Gloucester in round four of the Aviva Premiership are available to purchase online here or on 02476 786 411.