Glasgow Warriors wing's concern for family in Tonga

As Glasgow Warriors prepare for a critical Champions Cup game against La Rochelle on Saturday night - it's win or bust for the Warriors - one of their number will be forgiven for being a touch distracted.

On Saturday a massive underwater volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami in Tonga, an "unprecedented disaster" as their government officials have described it. The humanitarian crisis - communication lines are down and ash and sulphuric gases fill the air - has been deeply felt, in particular, by those who have connections with the country. Glasgow's Walter Fifita being one of them.

Fifita is a Tonga international and in his infancy as a Warrior. He's been in town for just four months since his move from New Zealand, where he was born and raised by a mum from Nukunukumotu and a dad from Fua'amotu. His parents are Tongan, his aunts and uncles are Tongan, his cousins are Tongan. He was brought up in south Auckland but Tonga is in his blood and he's hurting right now.

"I've got a lot of family back there," he says. "My partner's parents and most of her family are in Tonga and we can't get in touch with them, so we're worried. We have faith that they will be all right, but it's really concerning because there is no good news coming out of there yet."

Fifita is softly spoken and shy, a son of a minister and a "good boy" he says with a smile. He's also monstrously big, a 6ft 5in wing who weighs in at over 18st. And he's quick. He's 24 and is raw but he's got the basic materials to be a powerful player for Glasgow if they can coach the tactical side of the game into him. He's making progress and he's determined to get better.

He says he's praying for everybody in Tonga and asks those of faith if they could do the same.

"My team-mates with the national team all have family there, many of them were born there and we are all in touch with each other, all keeping each other in our prayers, not just for those in Tonga who are going through a terrible time but those of us who are trying to check on family and friends to make sure they're fine," he says.

"Everyone is pretty shocked. My partner has her parents and her nana in Tonga and she can't reach them, so it's just about waiting and praying for the best.

"The Glasgow boys have been really good. They've been asking me if I'm okay and how's my family. They say they want to help in any way they can. It gives me comfort and keeps me going."