Editorial comment – A rugby challenge

Members of the RKS U18 during the final.Picture Supplied

SINCE its establishment about a century ago, Ratu Kadavulevu School has produced many sons who have received national and international recognition in various disciplines. For current and former students, despite their various differences, there is one common denominator that unites Lodonians — rugby. It makes this all-boys’ school special. Founded in 1924 by the late Ratu Penaia Kadavulevu, the school has long been regarded as a powerhouse in schools rugby in Fiji. Its achievements over the decades are a strong testament to the many sporting stars who have graced the corridors of the Tailevu school and the talents that have been in abundance there. One of its greatest achievements was when it won all grades of the annual secondary schools rugby competition last year. The school had the expertise of former student and also a former national rep Nacanieli Saumi guiding its teams. If that wasn’t enough, RKS raised the bar again this year when it became the first Fijian team to win the Sanix World Youth Championship in Fukuoka, Japan last week. That victory against top schools from around the world would rank as a major achievement. As RKS Old Boys Nadi branch vice-president Joe Gavidi said, it was a proud moment for former students as they achieved what used to be a dream in the past. Rugby, he said, runs through the veins of old scholars. The win, he said, completed their winning cycle. RKS are also the defending champions in rugby league in Fiji and recently became the 2018 champions of the Fiji Secondary Schools Athletics Finals in the boys’ division. Aside from sports, the school has also targeted academic excellence. Understandably there will be acknowledgement for the achievements of this well-known boys’ school. The challenge for the school will be one of consistency though both in sports and in the classroom. Surely many eyes would be focused on the governing Fiji Rugby Union to see how it factors this great RKS team into its plans for the future. Surely attention should be on the winning under-18 team. Video replays should show selectors the calibre of the team and how much work must be put in to groom these youngsters to eventually make it into the national sides in the future. All stops must be pulled to start this process and put in place incentives to chart an effective pathway for these young ruggers. Otherwise we risk losing some of them to other rugby nations in the future. Therein lies the challenge for the FRU and the powers that be. Congratulations are certainly in order for RKS.