KNOWN for scoring the winning try against the New Zealand sevens team during the 1991 Hong Kong triumph, Wardens coach Timoci Wainiqolo savours another moment in his rugby career as he takes another gigantic step into his coaching career.
The giant lock forward who earned his first Test cap for the Flying Fijians in 1990 at Prince Chichibu in Tokyo, Japan, says he has fond memories of his prime days apart from the winning try.
When asked about his best memory while representing Fiji at international level, without hesitation he replied describing that moment as one of the best which also marked the rise of yet another rugby hero.
The lanky Wainiqolo scored a try for Fiji, sprinting from the halfway mark to cross the whitewash untouched when Fiji was playing Queensland in Suva in 1988.
He was playing against high profile players like Tim Horan, Jason Little, David Nucifora and former Wallabies vice-captain Michael Lynagh in that match.
The Bua native played alongside Mesaki Rasari and Noa Nadruku under the guidance of Samisoni Viriviri who was the coach at that time.
He earlier missed selection for the 1987 Rugby World Cup and was playing club rugby in New Zealand before deciding to give another crack at the white jumper.
This time he was successful. Recalling his memories of scoring that five-pointer, Wainiqolo said he had nothing else but to do his country proud in that game.
"Scoring that try against Queensland, running from the halfway mark is the best memory in my rugby career. I remember that I took the ball from the halfway and sprinted to the tryline without any one else catching me," Wainiqolo recalled.
"Nothing else was in my mind at that moment but to give my life for the country and I just did it," the six foot six inch forward said.
"And that winning try against New Zealand is another highlight of my career."
He said the pain of missing the 1987 RWC urged him to do his best while playing in New Zealand. He said he never gave up despite missing the RWC.
"At that time it was very hard to get into the Fiji team because the selectors only looked for physical, strength and those that had speed to be selected in the team.
"I miss the world cup in 1987 then I went to New Zealand for a contract, upon returning, I was given an opportunity to play for Fiji," Wainiqolo said.
He said wearing the white jumper was his dream as a young boy.
Wainiqolo stated that he fought hard against other rugby players to book his spot in the Flying Fijians team.
"I always cherish the moment of playing for Fiji because at that time it was something huge to represent Fiji. We played for passion at that time and we gave everything during any game. We always made sure that our lives were on the line when we represented Fiji in rugby," Wainiqolo said.
"It was very difficult to be in the Fiji team at that time because if you have the power, speed and strength then you can be guaranteed a spot in the Fiji team."
He said rugby had turned professional and upcoming players should be mindful to pay attention to the instructions given by their coaches.
"During our playing days we played for pride but now players are well paid and some of them demand money first in order to play well for the national team.
"I can see the difference while coaching, modern players have the knowledge of the game, they have the facilities which help them adapt to the modernised game but some of them lack the passion to do their country proud.
"I guess if a player follows the instructions given by his coach, he can be a future star and at the same time achieve his dream of representing his country at international level."
Wainiqolo is the current Wardens coach and they have made revelation winning local tournaments.
He coached the Namosi provincial rugby team which has qualified for the promotion relegation match against Rewa next weekend.
Wainiqolo guided Namosi to win the B Division beating Malolo in the final last Wednesday in Lautoka.