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



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Tiaro wins battle but Bauple and Gunalda move to Gympie

AMEN ded : Changes to the Maryborough electorate after the Queensland Redistribution Commission's final determination. Blue denotes the old boundary, orange denotes the proposed changes, and red areas are those accepted in the final determination.

Tiaro will stay but other Fraser Coast towns are now in Gympie.

We keep Rainbow Beach in popular vote ruling

The new Gympie electorate, as announced by the Queensland Redistribution Commission.

Big Gympie region welcome for biggest electoral change in 30 years

Why it's right to compare Gympie Show to the Ekka

Gympie Show Rodeo - Rory Payne

Last Saturday's Show crowd was the best in 24 years

Local Partners

Rooftop cocktails and canapes in Gympie

CLOUDLAND will be a fun night of music, provided by Sista Lee and The Strangest Dreamers, with cocktails and canapes included in the ticket price of $50.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!