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Tuipulotu emotional about Aussie mum at Rugby World Cup


Sione Tuipulotu has been left overcome with emotion as he revealed his mother would watch him play for Scotland for the first time, providing all the motivation he needs for their Rugby World Cup showdown with South Africa.

The Australian centre is qualified to represent the Scots through his grandmother, Jacqueline, and he has become one of Gregor Townsend's main men since making his debut in 2021, shortly after he joined Glasgow.

While Tuipulotu's Tongan father Fohe has been over to watch him play for Scotland, his mother Angelina - who is from Melbourne after her Scottish and Italian parents moved there - has not been able to attend any of his matches in person since he left Melbourne Rebels in 2019.

The 26-year-old apologised to journalists as he welled up with tears and briefly paused to compose himself while outlining the journey his mother had undertaken to get herself to France to see her son play on the biggest stage in rugby on Sunday (Monday AEST).

"My mum got here yesterday and it will be the first time she'll have watched me play rugby for quite a while," said Tuipulotu.

"I had a chat with her yesterday when she got to Paris and it was quite an emotional phone call, she just said how proud she was.

"Obviously, it's her mum that is part of my Scottish heritage and she said she is really proud when she sees me during the anthem and hears the background in terms of Murrayfield, the noise and stuff like that while she's watching on television.

"I can't really imagine how she is going to feel this weekend with the noise in Marseille when I'm playing the world champions. That is part of my motivation this week, I don't need any extra motivation."

Since joining Glasgow from Japanese club Yamaha Jubilo in 2021, Tuipulotu has become a first-choice pick for Scotland and one of the most highly-regarded centres in the world.

"I would be lying if I said to you I didn't think it was going to be achievable because I have always backed myself through my whole career," he said.

"I have always been a confident player and when I moved over to Scotland, I had the goal that if I was going to move that far away from my family, I was going to make it happen.

"You need some things to go your way in order to make it happen and I got lucky with the coaches I had as soon as I came over here, but it's also about my hard work as soon as I came over to try to keep improving as a player.

"It has been an awesome journey over the past couple of years and I am super-excited for the tournament to kick off.

"As a kid I wanted to be one of the best players in my position in the world and this is the tournament you get to prove that."