One Percenters: Kerevi's family ride emotional wave in World Cup opener, Henry says it straight on Spark NZ

Rugby World Cup
by Beth Newman, Emma Greenwood and Iain Payten

Wallabies fans around the world rode a wave of emotions in their comeback win over Fiji on Saturday but there was one house in Fiji that might have been feeling it just a bit more than most.

Samu Kerevi's family gathered to watch the Wallabies star make his Rugby World Cup debut and based on a video he was sent from home, there was plenty of excitement.

"I got a video of home, I was really worried the house was going to come down, the walls were banging. My grandmother hitting the walls," he said.

"It really put into perspective what a game of rugby can do for a small nation like Fiji. I had my whole family there, they had a whole program of the day leading to the game. Breakfast, lunches, bbqs.

"You feel really honoured to have family coming together for a footy game, especially when it's your home nation. They're extremely proud."

It wasn't just Kerevi's family who were watching the match closely - plenty of Fijians were trying to tune in on Saturday afternoon.

Kerevi scored a match-sealing try in the clash against Fiji and the jubilation on his face was clear to see, with the centre savouring the moment after what was an emotional week.

“Yeah, it was pretty emotional," he said.

"I don’t really react too much when I score a try but I knew during the week it would be an emotional week for myself, first time playing my home nation, knowing who is watching and just all of that together, it just kind of compounded during the game.

"Just really proud of where I am from. I am really proud of my background and my culture, and to be able to express that on the world stage is a massive honour for me.

"I am not only representing Fiji, I am representing Australia because I am born in Fiji and brought up in Australia. So for myself and Isi and Marika and Tevita, guys like Henry that have donned the jersey in the past, we are always proud to represent Fiji.”

Henry's blunt World Cup analysis

Some coaches motivate players with tough love, some use stirring speeches and others just get straight to the point.

If Graham Henry's response to a pre-match question about the emotions of New Zealand's potential World Cup debutants is any indication, it's clear what camp he's in.

Concussion laws get a tweak after Cane confusion

Sam Cane was not allowed to return to play in the second half of the All Blacks' win over South Africa. Photo: Getty ImagesWorld Rugby announced a change to its concussion procedures after a controversial moment in Saturday's New Zealand-South Africa match.

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane was sent off for a Head Injury Assessment just before half-time after a knock on the field.

The openside passed the test but because he was off the field for more than 10 minutes, he was not allowed to return to the field.

Under the usual laws, players have 10 minutes to have a HIA and if they are off the pitch for longer than that they cannot return to play.

Cane, though, had to make a long journey to get to the assessment room and as such World Rugby on Sunday confirmed a change to the rules.

"Specifically for Rugby World Cup, with immediate effect, the official 10-minute HIA window will commence from the moment the temporarily replaced player enters the HIA room, rather than when the player leaves the playing area," a World Rugby statement said.

"This is to facilitate slightly longer distances to the HIA room from the field of play at some of the venues."

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen admitted he wasn't "overly happy" about the Cane incident and that he had asked for clarification about the rules.

"Last night Sam...had to cross over to the other side of the stadium for an HIA," said Hansen, after the 23-13 Pool B win over the Springboks.

"But we've had notification that the clock doesn't start until you get to the actual room itself. I wasn't overly happy last night to have one of our best players missing 40 minutes of the game, but I'm just glad they sorted it out."

Aussies have mixed first day at Oktoberfest 7s

The Aussie Sevens men will compete for fifth at the Oktoberfest Sevens after a mixed opening day in Munich.

Australia opened with a 40-0 win over England before falling short of South Africa and New Zealand in their final preliminary matches.

A day two win over the USA put them into the fith-place playoff against France, at the time of writing.

Wallabies minted in limited edition coin

Rugby Australia has teamed up with Woolworths and the Royal Australian Mint to launch a limited edition $2 Wallabies coin.

Two million of the special Wallabies-branded coins, which feature Australia's sporting colours of green and fold and the Wallabies logo, have been produced by the Royal Australian mint and will be available to collect at Woolies registers.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said the coin presented a "unique opportunity" for the sport.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for us. The fact that we'll be able to use this coin to engage the Australian public, as the performances of the Wallabies will when they play in Japan, is amazing," Castle said.

"The combination of being able to use these coins as promotion for the Wallabies and what they're doing up in Japan but also the engagement and the conversations that it will start right across the Woolworths chain and as they go into circulation will be fantastic.

"That's the power of the Wallabies brand, (the Royal Australian Mint) has only done five of these (coins) and the Wallabies is one of them and I think that shows how the Wallabies can unite a country and I think that's what will happen when the Rugby World Cup will start.

"We saw it four years ago with the tidal wave of people that got on the back of the Wallabies when they started winning and I don't  expect it to be any different this time around."

Force lock in academy duo

The Western Force have made two more additions to their Global Rapid Rugby squad for 2020, rewarding the form of Rugby WA academy players Ollie Callan and Jackson Pugh.

The young flanker, a member of the Junior Wallabies squad ahead of the Oceania Championships earlier this year, made his Force debut against Malaysia Valke in the final Rapid Rugby showcase in August.

"To officially become a Western Force player is something I have worked so hard to achieve, it feels pretty surreal at the moment, but I'm really excited,” Callan said.

"Being part of the Senior Academy was great as I was able to get to know some of the professional team and see first hand how hard they worked to play at an elite level."

Second-rower Pugh, 19, said being around the team on a full-time basis for the past few weeks had opened his eyes to how much he could grow as a player.

“I’ve looked up to the Force since I was a little kid, going to the games each week. To sign with the club and represent the jersey is like a dream come true,” Pugh said.

“The Senior Academy provided an excellent place to learn about the game as well as develop my skills. You never stop learning and now that I’m with the Force squad day in and day out I’m just loving everything about it."

Reds' signing focus moves to Salakaia-Loto

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (right) and Rodda (left) both wear the word "DAD" on their wrist strapping. Photo: WalmsleyLukhan Salakaia-Loto is likely to be the next target of Rugby Australia, with the backrower currently off contract at the end of 2020.

While Reds teammate Izack Rodda last week sealed his future with the Reds and Wallabies until after the next World Cup, Salakaia-Loto is yet to commit to a long-term deal.

The 23-year-old's transition from lock to the back row has been a great success, with the towering Queenslander an integral part of the Rugby Championship's most dominant lineout and likely to be in the future plans of any Wallabies coach.

With the Reds having embarked on a campaign to lock up their young talent, Salakaia-Loto is likely to be a major target moving forward.