Semi Radradra Prefers Vacation Sailing to French Rugby

What do you call a rugby player who shows up for training only part of the time? Semi Radradra.

Sorry, our New Year’s hangover is not yet completely extinguished, but the Semi Radradra pun is not nearly so egregious as some we unleashed during the height of the festivities. 

Radradra did not show up for training with his French Top 14 Toulon club when due a couple of day ago. Both he and fellow Fijian Josua Tuisova apparently decided that the party needed to go on a bit longer.

In England, Australia, or America, such a breach of protocol seems inconceivable, but for France, a country that nearly failed to show up for World War II, schedules, commitments, obligations and other things of that nature are viewed more casually. 

Toulon Coach Fabien Galthie, who did make it for the first day, was rather laconic in his reaction, saying, “This is the story of the Fijians who go on vacation. They are on a boat and we do not know who has fallen into the water yet. These are two Fijians who went on a boat on vacation. No, it’s the mystery of the Fijians going on vacation. We were waiting for them this morning and they are not here.”

It would seem as though tropical islanders are always on vacation and the French love of a holiday is well-renowned, so the two cultures share a laid-back approach to living that is hard for those of us who inhabit the world of the dedicated sometimes fine hard to fathom. 

Galthie elaborated, “For the moment we do not make a [big] deal. I prefer to laugh and say that this is the story of the Fijians who go on vacation. When they do not come it’s annoying because they are good players … but they prefer the sun. It’s hard for a Fijian to go back home …’’

Compare that to the reaction when Radradra bolted on the Parramatta Eels to return to Fiji in 2016, without so much as a “By your leave.”