You don’t have to be religious to think the rugby gods might have been taking extra notice of Scott Sio this week.
The Wallabies will prepare to face Scotland in a World Cup quarter-final just two days after his 24th birthday, with his father, David, watching on in the stands.
It was the 1991 World Cup quarter-final when David played for Samoa against Scotland and the well-worn story goes that if Samoa won, Scott would be named Manu but the Scots got up and the rest is history.
The younger Sio will have a chance to reverse the family fortunes in Australia’s quarter-final on Sunday but the quirk is not lost on him.
“Everyone’s sort of saying how funny it would be if it did end up that we played Scotland in this quarter-final considering my birthday is Friday,” he said.
“I can’t look too far into that, it’s a different year, a different Scottish team and I’m playing for Australia.
“I’m sure my family will have a bit of fun with that but it’s all rugby for me at the moment.”
Sio had the opportunity to explore London with his dad after the Wales win, who arrived on Friday and is relishing the chance to spend time with him.
“It’s normally my mum who gets to come over and do all the overseas trips but it’s been good to have him here,” he said.
“He’s been such a big influence on my life, not just from a rugby point of view.
“Just to have his wisdom here while I’m here and another outlet to talk to about it, it’s been great.”
Sio has taken advice from David after his matches since he was a seven-year-old starting out in the sport.
While instructions have turned into “suggestions” as he’s grown up, he says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“He’s always telling me what I could do better and what I can improve on,” he said.
“You can focus on the positives too much some time and he’s always been good at suggesting things.
“It’s sort of gone from telling me what to do to suggesting it as I get older. He says, ‘you should know by now but I’m still going to remind you’.”
Despite being based overseas and effectively on tour for close to three months, the Wallabies have not been entirely ensconced in the tournament bubble and Sio said they had embraced the opportunity to spend time with their families..
“I think it’s been huge,” he said.
“A lot of guys have young families.
“A lot of guys are playing for them and they want their kids to sort of grow up and say, ‘I was there and look what my father did,’ and it’s something they can hopefully emulate when they grow up.
There’s a lot of proud parents as well which has been really good as well.
“That’s what I play for, they made a lot of sacrifices for me growing up and I just want to do them proud.”
The name of a next generation Sio is not resting on Sunday’s knock-out match but Scott says he wouldn’t mind the family tradition of World Cup representation continuing.
“It’s not something too high on my priority list but it’s something that the future may hold for me one day,” he said.