Kahn Fotuali'i will get his first taste of PRO12 play-off action when the Ospreys entertain Munster at the Liberty Stadium on Friday evening following his move to the region from Crusaders last summer.
The Samoan scrum-half’s last game for the Canterbury based Super 15 outfit was their own final last July, when they were defeated by Reds in Brisbane, and while he’s ultimately hoping for a more positive outcome this time around, he says that the whole experience is going to be something completely different for him, and something he’s excited about.
“Yes, I’ve got that experience and in many ways it’s very similar” he said.
“But it’s a different league, different teams and a different style of rugby so there’s not too much I can take from that into these play-offs.
“It’s a pretty exciting time. It’s a first time for me obviously so I’m looking forward to the experience. The play-offs are always going to be exciting, it’s another step up in intensity, but you’ve just got to treat it as another game.
“We’ve been progressing each week, improving as we’ve gone, and what we’ve got to focus on now is a very tough game on Friday night against a really good team who will come to the Liberty Stadium believing they will win. I’m excited about it, the boys are as well, we can’t wait.”
Having made the switch last year, with his delayed debut coming at the end of October in Glasgow after Samoa’s Rugby World Cup had been ended by defeat to Wales, Fotuali’i has made 20 appearances for the region to date and is proving to be an influential figure during the region’s recent winning run. He says he’s enjoying his time in Ospreylia:
“I’m progressing myself as a person and as a rugby player this season, I’m learning as it goes about the way rugby is played in this part of the world, but at the end of the day if you want to win in knockout rugby it all comes down to the simple, basic stuff - holding on to the ball, getting on the front foot to get some go forward, keeping the scoreboard moving and taking any penalties you get and just using our brains and the knowledge we have to deal with situations in the game.
“It’s really a simple game and we need to make sure we are in control of what we do. If we control the basics, the rest should take care of itself.”
With the regular season complete and just the play-offs to go, Fotuali’i is hoping to end his debut season at the Liberty on a high – but he insists that he’s taking nothing for granted:
“Definitely. It’ll be awesome to win on Friday night, at the Ospreys home. For me personally, coming here this season, I’d look at it as a huge achievement. I’m not looking any further forward than this game, you can’t look too far forward. You have to go one game at a time, so we’ll focus on dealing with Munster and then take it from there.”
Tickets for the game against Munster on Friday are on sale now at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets and via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665, with up to four kids free with a paying adult.