Testimonial one of Fisilau's 'best moments'
KENI FISILAU described his testimonial night as one of the best moments of his rugby career.
A crowd of around 1,500 people turned up at Brickfields on Friday evening to see his South Sea Islanders side put on a spectacular display of sevens-style rugby to destroy a South West Select XV 85-25.
Before the match started, Fisilau was given a standing ovation as he walked out on the pitch that he has graced for so many years.
"It was one the best moments of my rugby career," said the former Tongan international centre, who has just completed 11 years with Albion.
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"It was a really enjoyable night. I was really pleased so many people turned up.
"I did not expect any particular number, but I was really pleased with how everything went.
"It was also really nice to have so many friends playing."
The night was also special for Fisilau as his father, Aisea, had come over to Plymouth for the match.
It was the first time his dad had been to the UK and first time he had seen him for six years.
"I don't think my father expected anything," Fisilau told Herald Sport.
"He was really surprised at how organised it was and how many people turned up."
Fisilau had not played a game of rugby since January 27 due to an 18-week suspension for a dangerous tackle.
But he was back on the field on Friday and also played yesterday at Franklin's Gardens in Northampton prop Soane Tonga'uiha's testimonial match.
"Friday was my first game since my suspension," said Fisilau.
"And it was a really good feeling to be back playing again."
Fisilau started the game at scrum-half on Friday due to a lack of number nines.
"I just volunteered," said Fisilau, who has no intention of making a late career change.
Fisilau will return to Tonga for the first time since 2005 for a family holiday next week before returning for pre-season training with Albion.
As well as South Sea legends like Tonga'uiha, Friday's match also saw a number of current and former Albion players pull on their boots.
Dan Collier and Mark Lee, who are leaving Albion this summer, played for the Islanders side, as did Albion coach Nat Saumi.
Wayne Sprangle, Herbie Stupple, James Owen, Mark Manton, Brett Stroud, James Owen and Andy Matchett featured for the South West side, who had found themselves 38-5 down at half-time.