Gloucester Rugby: Davies takes advantage of the Kalamafoni connection
A DOUBLE sales-pitch was the least Sione Kalamafoni could do to help out another member of his global family.
The Kingsholm back-rower had Nigel Davies asking him about Lua Lokotui – and Lokotui asking him about Gloucester.
It was a total no-brainer for the brutal back-rower to endorse fellow Tongan Lokotui to Gloucester, and vice versa.
First he genuinely saw both parties as a good fit – but then he also had to pay due respect to the Pacific Islanders code.
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It is a cultural standard for Polynesians to look out for one another, wherever the world takes them.
So just as Akapusi Qera hosted Kalamafoni for a few days when he arrived in the summer, so the former Nottingham 24-year-old has helped Lokotui settle in with the Cherry and Whites.
Kalamafoni explained: "You know what any club will expect from you, but I told Lua about the great stadium and atmosphere and the fantastic set-up and strong feeling within the squad.
"I explained a little bit about the background of the club, and said that he would love it here.
"It's a great place to be, and I just summed that up.
"Nigel mentioned Lua's name to me and asked about him.
"I said I know he's a good player and that he would come and definitely do his job.
"But then a bit further down the line he came and asked me again, just to make sure of what I'd said because he wanted to sign him.
"So I told Nigel he's a really good player, and the backbone of the Tongan team."
Ex-Hawke's Bay captain Lokotui scored a try in Tonga's 21-15 win over Scotland in Aberdeen in November.
The 33-year-old arrived in December and made his debut in Gloucester's 26-7 LV=Cup defeat at Northampton two weeks ago.
Kalamafoni thinks the former Stade Francais lock has quickly got to grips with Kingsholm life.
He continued: "For us coming from a small country though, whenever we are abroad everyone is a family.
"We tend to connect together naturally.
"It's very important to have those kinds of connections when you go somewhere new or different.
"Wherever we go we know there will be someone to help us if we need anything.
"When I arrived I stayed with Q for a couple of days, and it's a great connection.
"There's a really strong spirit there, it is part of the culture.
"It's the way we're brought up.
"At least for me at home, we didn't have much as youngsters growing up, so we had to share everything.
"That becomes second-nature, and then you just continue that on all the time.
"So I've tried my best to make sure Lua's settling in, and I think he's already making a good job of all that."
Gloucester return to Northampton on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm), starting a crucial four-match Premiership sequence.
Kalamafoni said Gloucester's fastest route back to winning ways after Saturday's 32-5 Bath defeat is to trust the coaches' methods.
He added: "It's a very important few weeks coming up, we've got to get our heads around these games.
"The most important thing is to make sure we hit the right levels and play to the best of our abilities.
"Sticking to the gameplan is the most crucial part: the coaches provide us with what we need to go out there and win games.
"And we have to make sure we don't go away from that."