Scott Sio’s life has been so wholly defined by rugby union’s quadrennial tournament he should be known as Mr World Cup – even if he refers to the showpiece event as the Olympics.
In 1991, the loosehead prop was born while dad David was helping Samoa stun the world by reaching the competition’s knockout stages.
He was named Scott after Samoa’s quarter-final opponents Scotland, who triumphed that day.
Twelve years later, young Scott saw first hand what a World Cup meant when he watched Jonny Wilkinson split the uprights with a wonky field goal to break Australian hearts.
David had secured four tickets for the final, in the hope he could take his three sons.
But when Scott’s uncle showed interest, someone had to drop out – and it was David who fell on his sword and watched the game from home.
Now, 12 years further on, Scott has the chance to properly repay his old man – by playing in the biggest game himself – against the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday 0300 AEDT) – with a proud father watching from the stands via tickets supplied by his son.
“He said it’s going to be a moment you never forget,” Scott said on Thursday.
“It’s crazy to think that I was a spectator (in 2003). I was taking in the atmosphere and I know how crazy the atmosphere will be.
“To be on the other side of the fence is amazing in itself.”
On that occasion 12 years ago, the younger Sio remembers running up to the likes of Lote Tuqiri and George Smith and getting their autographs.
Now he’s been recalled, having recovered from a dislocated elbow to prop up the Wallabies’ scrum, which crumbled in his absence last weekend against the powerful Pumas.
It’s an opportunity Sio says he will cherish.
“This is the biggest game rugby has to offer,” he said.
“I call it the Olympics of rugby. The World Cup, this is the gold medal match.
“This is where you want to be every four years. I’m definitely not taking anything for granted this weekend.”