Nicky Little may not get the beer he wants to celebrate his 35th birthday, but enjoying the World Cup experience with his Fiji team-mates remains a priority.
Little, who has spent more than a decade playing rugby in Europe, will bring the curtain down on his career following the Rugby World Cup.
"I’ve had three months training for this with the Fiji boys and my body told me 'yep you’ve had enough mate'," said the 68-Test cap fly-half.
His team-mates spent much of Tuesday morning ribbing the elder statesman in the Fiji squad.
"It started at 6 o’clock in the morning with 'Happy 38th Birthday' and all that sort of stuff. I’m 35 not 38," he added.
But it is clear Little is enjoying the humour and relaxed atmosphere in the squad, although he stressed the focus on the field remained strong.
"They (the coaches) know we are making mistakes and giggling but there is an edge to it," he said.
"We are quite serious about things and hard on each other. But when someone does something silly, it is funny (and you have to laugh)."
Little also clearly enjoyed the carnival atmosphere of the opening training session at Porirua Park.
He urged the hundreds of school children packed in the stands to yell louder as he slotted kick after kick at practice.
"We don’t really like it all closed off and fancy fences everywhere," he said.
"We train like this in Fiji where you’ve got to get the balls back from the kids."
"We’ve had delayed trainings because the balls have been stolen. That’s what we’re used to."
He is also used to the Fiji team showcasing their attacking flair and unpredictability and sees no reason why that should change just because it is the World Cup and they face the defending champions, South Africa, in their pool D clash this Saturday.
"We try and put a lid on it sometimes and maybe we win or we don’t win but the boys don’t enjoy it and I think the last 15 years I’ve been with the team I’d rather see the boys enjoy themselves," Little said.
"We can do fancy drop kicks or whatever but the boys will look at whoever is kicking and say 'man, pass the ball'."
His side have already got one win, a 49-25 win over Namibia, and a win over the current World champions should secure the group.
But captain Deacon Manu knows that flair and exuberance will only work if the forwards do their job and physically match the South Africans.
"We can’t go away from our strengths and one of those strengths is with ball in hand," said the prop.
"But we’ve got to match that up with the physicality and get the right mix in our game if we want to challenge the South Africans."
"As a forward pack and as a team we’ve got to win those physical battles up front. We know we have to step up physically if we want to try and match them on the scoreboard."
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