There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Wales centre Willis Halaholo’s daughter, nine-year-old Sitina, read a letter to her father ahead of his 100th game for Cardiff on Friday.
Although they could not celebrate the occasion with a victory – as the Welsh region suffered an 18-12 defeat to the Bulls at Cardiff Arms Park – it was a momentous occasion which will stay with Halaholo for a long time.
Sitina, who was in attendance with her mother and four other sisters, read the touching letter to her father while he received his jersey for his 100th match for Cardiff.
Proud of her dad
In the letter to her father, she said: “Hello everyone. To daddy, we are all so proud of you for reaching 100 games for Cardiff Rugby. We all want you to know how much we love you. We all are your biggest supporters.
“We want you to know that if you fall we are there to support you to get back up. We love you because you are strong, kind, funny and the best dad ever.”
Meanwhile, Cardiff Rugby revealed the news of Sitina’s heartfelt gesture on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Teulu (family). Barely a dry eye in the house as Willis Halaholo is presented with his 100th Cardiff jersey by his wife and five daughters. His nine-year-old Sitina also wanted to say a few words to her dad, in front of the squad.”
Barely a dry eye in the house as @whalaholo is presented with his 100th Cardiff jersey by his wife and five daughters.
— Cardiff Rugby (@Cardiff_Rugby) November 9, 2023
However, the Cardiff star’s career suffered a major setback in 2022 when he sustained a serious hamstring injury which kept him on the sidelines for a lengthy period.
He was out of contract at the time before also rupturing his Achilles tendon and spent close to a year on the sidelines due to both injuries. The 33-year-old showed remarkable resilience to recover and has signed a new short-term deal with Cardiff.
Speaking to Cardiff’s official website after Friday’s match against the Bulls, Halaholo was filled with pride, both at his team’s performance and the milestone he shared with his family.
“It was good to get back out there. I’m still trying to sharpen up after being out for a year, but it’s slowly coming back, especially having my mate ( Rey Lee-Lo) outside me running around like that, it only inspires me,” he said.
“It’s another one that got away, but hopefully everyone can see that there’s fight here. I think those type games will come down to needing a little bit more experience, but we have a lot of young boys digging in and learning on the go.
“So I’m happy with how we’re performing. Everyone knows the situation around in Welsh rugby, lots of young boys are going to have to step up and as long as we keep fighting for 80 that’s all we can do.
“We had a few chances out there but hopefully the next couple games we can come up with some wins.
A special day for the Halaholo family
“It was really special for me and my family.
“Just thinking back about six months ago, I didn’t think I was going to be back here in front of a packed Arms Park.
“Everyone’s been very welcoming to me and my family. Throughout the last year I’ve been getting a lot of messages of support from a lot of supporters and that’s probably what’s kept me going.”