Marseille’s Tuiloma buoyed by New Zealand experience

Despite his nation’s World Cup hopes being shattered, Bill Tuiloma was over the moon after making just his second appearance for New Zealand on Wednesday night.

The 18-year old Marseille full-back played around 50 minutes of the World Cup playoff second leg against Mexico in Wellington, which the All Whites eventually lost 4-2 (9-3 on aggregate), and admits that it was a massive occasion for him so early in his fledgling career.

"The crowd was incredible," Tuiloma said. "It was unbelievable.

"I won't forget this moment. It's a dream come true for me to be able to play top football, an international, at home as well.

"It's a big step up. It's a lot faster, the players are really clever and physical as well."

Of his hopes of playing first team football in France’s Ligue 1 with Les Phoceens, Tuiloma added: "I started training with the first team a couple of weeks ago so hopefully I can get a spot in there and get a debut as well.”

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith, who captained the Kiwis, added further: "Bill gave a good account of himself.

"It's probably not his favoured position, left back, but he gave it a good go.”

 
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