In a club first, Tigers players from the Pacific Islands of the Southern Hemisphere put on a show for supporters earlier this week at the inaugural Tigers Islanders Christmas Party to share a rare insight for residents of Leicester in to what the festive season is like under a summer sun.
Current Pacific Islanders in attendance on the night included Sione Kalamafoni, Valentino Mapapalangi, Telusa Veainu, David Feao (Tonga), Campese Ma'afu (Fiji), Manu Tuilagi, Fred Tuilagi (Samoa / England) and fellow players from 'down under' including New Zealander's Brendon O'Connor and Mike Fitzgerald and Tatafu Polota-Nau from Australia.
As well as current stars, the trailblazing Freddie Tuilagi was also in attendance, sharing stories from his own days in Tigers colours alongside club legends Martin Johnson, Geordan Murphy and Austin Healey much to the enjoyment of the more than 100 in attendance at Welford Road.
With an Islander BBQ themed menu, refreshingly fresh salads and a room decorated to make guests feel like they were in a bar overlooking the beach, accompanied by the sounds of the Isles in the background, it was a treat for Tigers fans to embrace the Christmas spirit in a whole new light.
After Q&As with players about their experiences growing up in the southern hemisphere, the differences upon arriving in Leicester and discussing some rugby of course, it was time for an Island Party led by Freddie T including performances from Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and Samoa to finish an evening of high energy and enthusiasm from the stars of the show and guests at Welford Road.