‘The Chiropractor’ on a mission

Legendary Samoan midfielder Brian Lima is best known for his bone-crunching tackles, but when he lines up against South Africa in Paris this weekend he will add a far more significant chapter to the World Cup history.

Nicknamed “The Chiropractor”, because his tackles rearrange the opposition’s bone structures, and still the only player to have scored two tries in a match at four separate tournaments, will become the only player to have participated in five World Cups.

“It’s a privilege for me to be here and I thank God for making all that possible. I am very happy to be here,” Lima said in an interview on the IRB’s website.

Lima was just 19 when he started playing for Samoa and one of the youngest players at RWC 1991, when Samoa shocked Wales 16-13.

“Before we played I was a little bit nervous,” Lima said. “I got quite emotional after the game. I felt like we won the World Cup when we beat Wales.”

While Lima is famous for his fierce tackling, off the field he is a modest, quiet father of three.

“After I started getting more experience [at international level], then I knew how to prepare and approach games, so you feel more confident and more relaxed. Being nervous is a good thing though, sometimes,” he told the IRB.

“Once you think you are well prepared, with your fitness, your strength, your skills, once you know that you are up to that level, you have enough preparation, you don’t have to worry about anything.”

Players on the receiving end of Lima’s crunching tackles might think differently. He was first dubbed ‘The Chiropractor’ by a coach when playing for Otago, and the nickname – like the tackles – stuck.

“I don’t mind. At first it was a bit embarrassing but after a while all my team-mates started calling me by it.”

Lima intends to retire after RWC 2007 and has already played his last game on home soil – a 50-3 win over Pacific rivals Tonga.

Rugby has come first for a long time – Lima missed the birth of his youngest son Brisin Manumalo when he was at RWC 2003 – but he plans to redress the balance.

“I’m going back home. I’ve been away too many years and want to spend some time at home,” he said. “I own a car rental business back home. I just want to spend time with my family.”

 

365 Digital

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