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'It's not all glitz and glamour' - Lima Sopoaga opens up about struggle of adapting to English rugby

Former All Blacks first-five Lima Sopoaga has admitted life in the English Premiership isn't all it's cracked up to be, saying he's struggling to adapt to life at his new club.

Sopoaga, 27, swapped the All Blacks jersey for a lucrative, multi-million dollar deal with Premiership side Wasps earlier this year, but has so far failed to replicate his form seen at both international and club level within New Zealand.

In an interview with the Guardian, Sopoaga opened up about the challenges of adapting to a new league and lifestyle in England, saying he's failed to live up to the standards he sets for himself.

"It's not that I don't love this but there are things that do get you down," he began.

"It's not all glitz and glamour. A lot of the time people just see the 80 minutes, they don't see what goes on behind closed doors and how winning and losing can affect players."

Sopoaga also spoke about not being able to produce the same form for Wasps as he'd done consistently over a number of years for the Highlanders.

"I take it all quite personally. I know when I've been playing well and when I haven't and, at the moment, I'm just not quite there.

"It's not through a lack or preparation or not trying my best. I know guys who have come over in different positions who have also found it hard but when you're such a focal point …"

"I feel that deeply and I shoulder a lot of that personally. Dropping balls or kicking out on the full are all things I can control.

"Coming over as a marquee player adds more pressure but there is no one with greater expectations of me than me."

Lima Sopoaga scores a try.
Rugby Championship test match rugby union. New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa Springboks, QBE Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 16 September 2017. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Source: Photosport


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