Owiny Atonio was born in New Zealand and became a France international in 2014, and will play in a very special match on Friday 8 September. The match he will play as a starting player will be a real test for him.
This France vs New Zealand match is the match that all rugby fans have been waiting for. But this meeting will be special for Yueni Atunio. Born in New Zealand, in Timaru, the 33-year-old will be the right-hand column in the French camp of this opposition. The Rochelais have actually chosen to represent France’s XV and have been international since 2014. Before this meeting he spoke to RMC Sport.
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“My family was happy with the draw […] As soon as you walk in, you encounter the blacks, it’s perfect, you couldn’t start better! You start with the biggest team in the world. It’s a real test. “This is the first match, everyone wants to be there,” confirms Owiny Atunio, who will start at the right column on Friday. He then spoke about his memories of the clashes between the Blues and All Blacks, when he was supporting his home country.
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“For the New Zealanders, the French are always the ones who break things in the World Cup (laughs). Moreover, I think history will repeat itself on September 8 (smiles). There have always been games where they beat us and were eliminated from the tournament.” “Nowhere. I think about the quarter-finals in 2007 and the semi-finals in 1999. We didn’t like the French. But I knew the French were always good,” he said with good humor at RMC.
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Today, he admits he feels more French than a New Zealander. “Before, it was strange to play against New Zealand. I played with and against most of the players who were with the Lions. Today, there are fewer and fewer of them. I think even I consider them French. I spent a third of my life here, and today I act like a Frenchman.” More than New Zealand.
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