Lukhan Tui is looking forward to playing in Samoa.
Lukhan Tui is looking forward to playing in Samoa. DAN PELED

Tui couldn't be Apia to be in Samoa

RUGBY: Like a number of Queensland Reds players, second-rower Lukhan Tui has Samoan heritage, that's why he can't wait to take on the Blues in the island's capital of Apia on Friday.

Both his parents were born and raised there and the 20-year-old said the city was exactly how he had imagined it to be.

"You see a lot of pictures and here a lot of stories about Samoa from my family and everything is pretty much spot on,” he told

"The people are lovely, the weather is nice and the country is beautiful.

"It's good to experience it for the first time and to do it with all the boys.

"They (the Blues) have a lot of Samoan boys up front so they will be up for it as well.”

Tui has made one of the lock roles his own this season and said one of the major reasons he has been able to fight off the likes of Kane Douglas and Izack Rodda has been All Blacks legend Brad Thorn, the Red's contact coach.

"Thorny has accomplished pretty much everything in rugby,” Tui said.

"The pre-season was tough and it was definitely good for myself, as it was my first pre-season.

"The boys put a lot of hard work into it and you can definitely see, in patches, that we are definitely doing what we want and we are playing a much more physical game with Brad Thorn there, showing us.”