KUMAGAYA, 24 Sep – Seeing his Rugby World Cup adventure as a legacy for his unborn child helps Samoa number eight Afaesetiti Amosa cope with the pressure of being a World Cup debutant.
Girlfriend Clemence is expecting a son in January and 28-year-old Amosa wants to makes sure he will be able to recount everything about his experience in Japan when the time comes.
"Since I arrived here I've got a diary that I write in, not for myself but for my unborn child," he said.
"Just day by day, what the experience was like and how emotions can go up and go up. I write everything inside so that when my children grow up they can see it as inspiration.
"I can explain to them what I've done and maybe this can also drive them as they grow into men or women, to be the best they can do."
It was a promise an eight-year-old Amosa made to his father as he was growing up in Australia, that pushed him to become a professional rugby player.
"It's quite crazy how young I was and that I can remember it," he said.
"I was at the back of the garage, there was a Samoan song playing in the background and there was a match between the All Blacks and the Wallabies on TV. I'd gone with my dad to the back to help get some beers and I told him, 'Dad, I want to play for Australia one day, and that's my promise to you. I want to play international rugby'.
"He said, 'OK, keep that promise and we'll see how far you can get'."
Twenty years later, Samoa coach Steve Jackson invited him to make his international debut against Tonga in Apia on 27 July.
"I was filled with emotions. I called Mum and Dad and said 'I made it'. Once I'd said that, Mum went quiet, Dad went quiet and there was about 30 seconds of silence, then I could hear my father's broken voice as he was about to cry," Amosa said.
"I didn't make it to Australia but I did make it to Samoa."
#AUSvSAM | Thank you to all our Manu Samoa supporters who turned up at Bankwest Stadium last night. Seen here: Captains David Pocock & Jack Lam, and with supporters are: Josh Tyrell, Vaito'asa Senio Toleafoa & Afaesetiti Amosa. Fa'afetai tele mo le tapua'iga #GoTheManu pic.twitter.com/bnOZWiofZW— Go the Manu (@gothemanu2011) September 8, 2019
On 7 August, Samoa played the Wallabies in Australia and Amosa's parents could watch their France-based son play for the first time in eight years.
"To embrace my father after the game, I would say that was the highlight of my rugby career," he said.
"My goal now is to make my family proud and to create moments that I can speak to my children about."
Samoa, 16th in the World Rugby Rankings, face Russia, Scotland, Japan and Ireland in Pool A, and will be hoping to reach the Pacific Island nation's first quarter-final since 1995.
The squad boasts 23 World Cup debutants and Amosa thinks that the common Samoan heritage has made it easy for them to become a team in a short time, even though many of them have grown up in different countries.
"I was born in New Zealand, then spent my whole life in Australia and then I've been living in France for almost eight years now but nothing has changed in how I treat people," said Amosa, who plays for Union Bordeaux Begles in the French Top 14.
"If you see a Samoan or Pacific person, you always give them a helping hand if they need it and then, when you're playing in a team, it's not just a team, it's brotherhood, it's family.
"It doesn't matter who – staff, players – everyone who comes into the team is family - and family cannot be broken by anything."