NAMOSI speed merchant Alipate Ratini wants to make a name for himself at the Gold Coast 7s tournament in Australia next week.
The youngster, who is one of the seven new faces in the 12-member Digicel Fiji 7s team named yesterday, is aiming to be the top try scorer at the first leg of the IRB Sevens World Series in Australia.
His speed could be the answer to Fiji's woes out wide over the seasons. The Tailevu flyer hopes to bring back the exciting flair of Fiji's top wingers Marika Vunibaka, Filimone Delasau and Rupeni Caucaunibuca.
He idolises Bua bullet Caucaunibuca, a try scoring machine and former Flying Fijians winger.
"My aim is to be the top try scorer in this leg and to score in every game I play," Ratini said.
"I love watching Caucau play, and I always want to play like him. I believe in myself and I know with the help of the coaches and my teammates, I can achieve my goal at this tournament."
Ratini was spotted by Flying Fijians head coach Inoke Male while playing at a sevens tournament in Vanua Levu. He was recruited into the Vatukoula side last year.
He also ran the 100 metres event for Wainimakutu Secondary School during the Coca-Cola Games. During a sprint run with the national team, Ratini stopped the clock below 11 seconds in the 100m.
He also starred for the Fiji Warriors during its Pacific Rugby Cup tour in Australia and New Zealand early in February.
The 21-year-old who hails from Wainimakutu in Namosi, attributed the support of his family back in the village. He thanked his aunty Silika whom he resides with while in Suva training with the national team.
"I am so thankful to be given this opportunity to be in the Fiji team. This is my childhood dream to wear the Fiji jersey. So now that dream is a reality, my focus is to repay the faith of the team management with my performance," he said.
"My parents live in the village and I thank them for their support plus my aunty Silika for being always there for me."
Ratini and Nadroga winger Apisalome Waqatabu will be fighting for a starting spot out wide.