Sekope Kepu proud of Wallabies squad diversity
The senior figure of the group is 33-year-old Kepu, of Tongan descent, who has amassed 105 caps, a record for a Wallabies prop.
When Australia won their first World Cup in 1991, the team included Tongan-born powerhouse Willie Ofahengaue.
Eight years later, the triumphant 1999 Wallabies side included another explosive backrower of Tongan heritage in Toutai Kefu.
But Ofahengaue and Kefu were the only Polynesians in their respective starting XVs.
The proportion of Polynesian and Pacific Islanders in Australia’s World Cup squads has increased substantially at more recent tournaments, with around a quarter of the 2011 party fitting into that category and about one third in 2015.
“They migrated to Australia and played club rugby here and must be very proud parents to see how their sons represent Australia and now go to a World Cup,” Kepu told AAP.
“That’s always a father’s dream. That would be very nice for me to have one of my boys do that.
“There is that Polynesian movement back in those days. Now you are seeing more and more come through the ranks
“It’s great diversity, There’s no better country than Australia, harvesting all the different cultures and all the ethnicities that travel to Australia for a better life.”
“I think this will be my last crack at and I am definitely going to make the most of the rest of the season in the Wallabies jersey and environment,” he said.
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