Logovi’i Mulipola proudly represented his country at a reception hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the achievements of the Commonwealth Diaspora community.
The event, which was held on Wednesday evening, was also attended by The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and the The Duchess of Gloucester, and by Prime Minister Theresa May.
It offered an opportunity to recognise people of Commonwealth heritage who have made a positive contribution to business, community and culture in the United Kingdom.
Samoa international Mulipola admitted he was “very nervous” ahead of his first real visit to London on Wednesday evening.
“I am happy, proud and excited but at the same time I am very nervous,” said Leicester Tigers prop Mulipola. “Not a lot of people get to go into Buckingham Palace.
“I am representing my country, but there are hundreds of them in the UK. I keep asking, why me? It is a huge honour.
“I have never been to see Buckingham Palace before. I’ve been here seven years and have never been to London, I only go there to do my visa but nothing else!
“I’m not really a fan of going there, walking around. I save my legs for matchday. I’m a sleepy guy. I like to chill, watch TV, eat some food.”
Mulipola thought his invitation was a practical joke by his team-mates when it arrive at the training ground.
“I thought the invite was fake, that one of them was winding me up,” said Mulipola. “I got someone to call to check if it was true, because if it was true I would be so happy to go and do it.”
The reception was attended by people from across the Commonwealth, who have been successful in areas such as sport, business, politics, the arts, diplomacy, religion, charities, youth and community groups.
It is part of the run up to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is being hosted by The Queen in April.