FORMER Nadroga and national fifteens skipper Rupeni Qaraniqio was the dominant figure during Nadroga's nine-year Farebrother rugby reign.
That's the view of the country's top sports commentator and "Voice of Rugby" Graham Eden when asked to share his thoughts on the late Qaraniqio.
Qaraniqio, 66, passed away early this week after a long illness.
Eden said while that champion Nadroga team (1971-1979) had a number of star players in their backs during that era, Qaraniqio's outstanding performance helped lift the performance of their forwards.
Eden said Qaraniqio played a lot of class matches for Nadroga and Fiji still rated his performance for Fiji against Leicester during the England tour in 1973 as the best.
"He was just outstanding in that game and his performance just lifted the spirit of the rest of the team and in the end they managed to beat Leicester," Eden said.
"I can still recall him lying down flat on his back after the game as sick as a dog after that performance.
"I can say when he was on the field he was a devil of a player."
Eden said something he would always look forward to when going to Sigatoka was meeting Qaraniqio.
"He was different person always down to earth and that is what I always remember him for," Eden said.
Qaraniqio will be buried today at Cuvu Village in Nadroga