Japan’s ‘Terminator’ Lomano Lemeki aims to take on the world
Tongan-born 25-year-old will play a big part in campaign to become Asia’s first World Series team
A big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Japan's all-action hero Lomano Lemeki wants life to imitate art.
That would be a danger for Hong Kong as the man who is quickly gaining the reputation as a Terminator on the sevens field is keen to lead his adopted country into the HSBC Sevens World Series next season.
"We are confident we can do it," said Lemeki after Japan blasted their way past their first two opponents in pool competition with wins over Uruguay, 24-0, and Trinidad and Tobago, 41-0.
Tongan-born Lemeki, 25, was a central figure and will play a big part in Japan's campaign to become Asia's first team on the World Series.
He has already made an impact regionally, player of the Asian Sevens Series in his debut season last year.
"Last year was a good start for my career with Japan. I enjoyed it but now Japan is keen to play on the World Series as we look ahead to the Olympics," said Lemeki, who last week made a huge impact for Japan at the Tokyo Sevens, scoring five tries.
"There is a big difference between playing in Asia and on the world stage.
"The physicality is tougher and you have to be fitter, but I really enjoyed my first outing in the World Series last week and I hope I can help Japan become a core team as I want to play more tournaments against the best.
"I grew up in New Zealand and moved to Japan in 2009, and I was very grateful to get the opportunity to play sevens rugby in the Asian series."
Lemeki didn't figure on the scoresheet against Uruguay, but he showed glimpses of his skill as he created two tries.
He missed the second game, forced to sit out after being cited by IRB officials for a high tackle. Life was starting to imitate art.
"I love watching Schwarzenegger, and yes, I hope I can become a Terminator on the field too," laughed Lemeki.