Move over Dan and Honor, stand aside Richie and Gemma — there’s a new rugby power couple on the social scene and Spy is smitten!
It’s three years this week since gorgeous pair Fatima and Julian Savea met and to mark the occasion Fatima opened up to Spy about the couple’s life and desire to have a family.
The pair have three fur babies, a French bulldog and two white Samoyeds, but Fatima makes no secret about her desire to become pregnant and the struggle the pair have faced. They have also contacted adoption agencies in the Middle East.
“Julian is a father already and he would absolutely love a whole rugby team of children, but to some it comes easily and to others it’s very difficult and unfortunately we are on the difficult side of things,” the 22-year-old told Spy.
She shared some of the other ups and downs of their three years together, including Julian’s struggle for her father’s approval.
“It definitely hasn’t been an easy three years for us. I come from a Muslim family and they were not very accepting of the relationship at first, which was very difficult for us both, but we fought hard for what we wanted and now my family wouldn’t have it any other way.
Julian Savea and Rocky.
“He’s an amazing man (when he isn’t glued to his PlayStation,) and he’s the most kindhearted person I have ever met. I’m just lucky to have him by my side through the ups and downs life’s thrown at us,” Fatima told Spy.
The Middle Eastern beauty is from Iraq, her family having moved to Auckland when she was 7. She lived at home until last year, as she was not allowed to move in with Julian, 26, until they married. They had a Muslim ceremony in August and a second ceremony and reception in December at Pencarrow Lodge in Wellington, which was attended by fellow All Blacks and Hurricanes’ players TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett.
In a year where her husband suffered injury Fatima was the ultimate cheerleader.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am of Julian. 2016 has been a tough year for him.
“To see him finally get back into his old form and smash it out on the field just makes me happy for him. I know how hard he works on and off the field and it’s taken some time for him to get his mindset right, but nothing comes easy and he knows that.
“It’s never easy when they’re away, and being in Wellington is also a little hard as my family is in Auckland but I keep busy with gym, university and my three pooches who are all very full on.”
Julian is in Chicago with the All Blacks and the pair will be reunited in Europe soon.
Fatima and Julian Savea on their wedding day.
“I’m heading to Ireland and Paris first, for the last two games of the end of year tour to support Julian and the boys. And then Julian and I have three weeks to ourselves in America which we are really looking forward to. It’s been a hectic year full of rugby and we always look forward to this time of year where we can kick back and relax together.”
Fatima’s love of social media is only rivalled by her love of fashion.
“We both love connecting with our followers and showing them our day-to-day lives. It’s a lot better now with Instagram stories as our followers can see what we really do on a daily basis rather than just assume from a photo that’s posted! I love showing my followers my overseas’ adventures and fashion.”
The pair have become New Zealand’s best dressed sporting couple. Fatima’s favourite accessories include Hermes, Chanel, Celine and Louis Vuitton, a taste she attributes to her dad.
“I’ve acquired my taste from my father. I’m his clone when it comes to fashion and shopping. He always calls me up when he’s in a shop or sends me photos of outfits he’s buying to get my opinion and vice versa. Mum’s never really been too keen on designer clothing but she’s slowly opening up to it. Julian is also really into his fashion. He’s definitely come a long way since I met him, he doesn’t wear as much sports gear all the time anymore.”
Fatima has recently changed tack in the career stakes.
“I did two years of law when I left high school and realised it wasn’t the degree for me so I switched to business. So I’m currently studying part time at Massey University, doing a business degree.
“I tried to venture into opening up a business earlier this year — SAV Boutique, an online clothing boutique for girls, but fashion is a really tough business to be in and everything slowed down within two months. I’ve taken a break and figured I just need to focus on getting my degree and nothing else. I was trying to do too much at once and got a little overwhelmed.”