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Api Pewhairangi was one of seven Dyldam Parramatta Eels representing their countries at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and hes just rejoined us in Blue and Gold after spending the last few weeks in the UK.

We caught up with Api, who says it was an incredible experience to be a Wolfhound for a few weeks.

I flew over with the five Aussie based players which was great, and then met all the other boys over there - all good blokes, mostly Pommies and just the one from Ireland, so it was a good group of guys, he said.

It was good training - most of the boys play Super League so their knowledge of the game was good, and we gelled pretty well and pretty quickly too, so it was good experience.

Learning a little about Irish culture was high on the list for Api, who was representing the Wolfhounds because he has a grandmother who was born and raised in Ireland.

We learned a few Irish songs and sung them, and went to a fundraiser to promote rugby league in Ireland, and did some Irish dancing with Irish women, which was pretty cool! he laughed.

Me and my roommate listened to the Irish anthem playing every night and learned all three parts, but there was only one part we needed to know in the end!

Despite losing their three group games against the current semi-finalists Australia, England and Fiji, Api says it was still a once in a lifetime opportunity.

It was an amazing experience, our first game against Fiji was a night game and the atmosphere was crazy, he said.

It was fully packed and was incredible. I know a lot of people didnt expect me to be Irish, but I was really proud to represent my grandmother who was born there.

For me it was bigger than just competing, it was about growing rugby league, and a lot of fans came and supported us and helped us grow the game and hopefully a lot of kids start playing the game there from it!

Now Apis back with the Parramatta Eels, he says hes excited to get stuck into pre-season training under new Head Coach Brad Arthur.

Now Im back its straight into it, a new buzz around the joint, new players and all new coaches, and Im looking forward to getting stuck into it and getting into next year.
Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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