Travel

Where have you been? - Mils Muliaina

Former All Black Mils Muliaina, son Max, 4, and their family are back in New Zealand from Japan to visit family. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Former All Black Mils Muliaina, son Max, 4, and their family are back in New Zealand from Japan to visit family. Photo / Sarah Ivey Sarah Ivey

HE'S just got in after a 10-hour flight from Tokyo and his wife and son are just behind him, stuck in customs.

Mils Muliaina parks his luggage trolley at arrivals, obliging a lengthening line of exuberant Japanese who want their photo taken with the fullback. Aside from a splint on a dislocated finger, the 32-year-old looks ready to take on the Boks.

What a player he's been. But you'd embarrass him if you were to genuflect, or talk about his place in the pantheon of great All Black fullbacks, especially if you reminded him that he played more tests - exactly 100 - than any of those legends, and never had a bad game (at least not one anyone can remember).

He lives in the moment. And for now, that's Osaka, Japan. Mils plays for NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in the Top League. He's loving it, especially the food.

"Everyone thinks Japan is sushi, but it's everything. They basically take food from other countries and make it better. Apart from hangi food - I haven't seen any hangi food over there."

It's not all feasting, of course. Mils is there to play rugby and although the Red Hurricanes are performing poorly - they've lost their last 19 games - he's enjoying himself.

"Playing in Japan gives you the ability to do whatever you want, really. I'm playing in the centres, though I'm bigger than most of the props. Honestly, I'm not lying! The boys over there are like, 'Man, you're so big'.

"But while they're small, they never stop running. They're tenacious. And brave - they tackle really low."

Their attitude, he says, can't be faulted. "But it's kinda odd when they start talking about players you've played with - players they idolise.

"They've got the pictures on their phones. They're always watching YouTube. We'll be on the bus and they'll be watching the Tri-Nations on their tablets. Watching Dan's 'greatest hits'."

Mils laughs. Now he's joined by wife Hayley and 4-year-old son, Max, a probable selection in the All Blacks 2031 World Cup squad.

They're off to Invercargill, his old home-town - he still rolls his Rs - to see the Muliaina whanau, then returning to Auckland to see Hayley's family. Then it's back to Japan - and back to rugby.

"Life is good," he says, smiling. "Different. But good."

Topics:  new zealand travel



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Devastating hailstorms cost Mary Valley farmer $500,000

DEVASTATED: Rob Price of Imbil with his damaged avacado trees after golf ball size hail hit last week.

Rob Price and his wife are just two of many who are devastated.

REVEALED: Mayor's donors before election

Mayor Mick Curran (right), pictured with CEO Bernard Smith, has address questions over third party donations.

Petition called for mayor to be reported to authorities over donors

Southside plan shapes up following feedback

Part of the structure plan for Southside.

The council has welcomed feedback on the Southside structure plan.

Local Partners

Devastating hailstorms cost Mary Valley farmer $500,000

ROB Price and his wife are just two of many who are devastated by hailstorms last week.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

PARTY TIME: Two huge nights of Christmas on Mary

IN THE MOOD: Jade Alexis dressed up for a Mary Christmas on December 14 and 21.

Mary St keeps up its new Christmas night shopping tradition

All your entertainment needs sorted for this weekend

ROCK ON: Travis Collins will be at the Royal Hotel to promote his new album on Friday night

Don't let the bad weather chase away a good time.

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Doco tells the story of Aussie surfboard pioneers

Gordon Woods (far right) in a 1966 ad for his surf shop. He is the subject of a documentary about the Brookvale Mafia airing on Foxtel.

THE Brookvale six were united in the love of their craft.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!