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'Mum I'm a Waratah'

Emoni Narawa
Monday, October 29, 2012

FORMER Junior Wallabies playmaker Ben Volavola wants to be the first Fijian flyhalf to wear the green and gold Wallabies jumper.

Today, the 21-year-old will sign a contract with Super Rugby franchise, the Waratahs, moving him closer to achieving his ultimate goal of playing for Australia.

Ben's mum, Ema Volavola, is the daughter of former Suva mayor Ratu Peni Volavola.

He is one of five players named by coach Michael Cheika in the Waratahs extended players squad (EPS) for the new season.

"I received a call from Cheika telling me that I will be the fifth player and I will be going tomorrow (today) to sign the contract," Volavola told Times Sport from his Sydney home yesterday.

"This is a dream come true for me, I've always wanted to play rugby since my childhood days and I am looking forward to the new season," he said.

Volavola trained with Wallabies players Berrick Barnes and Wycliff Palu during his two-week trials camp with the Waratahs. However, he will have to wait for the opportunity of making his Super Rugby debut since he is named as an EPS player.

Wallaby's utility Barnes is the top choice playmaker for the Waratahs which means Volavola will have to wait to earn his first Super Rugby cap.

"I am in the EPS squad which means that I will be called up if a player is injured. But I do not want that, I want to be selected based on my form and not replacing an injured player." Volavola said.

"I have learned a lot during the two-week trials and I cannot wait to play my first game. I cannot recall if any Fijian flyhalf has ever played any Super Rugby game. I want to be the first Fijian flyhalf to play Super Rugby and also my long term goal is to wear the green and gold jersey.

"This is a proud moment for me and I thank my family for their continuous support," the former Newington College student said.

"I want to make my family back at home proud," he said.

Volavola left Suva several years ago with his mother Ema, who studied for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Sydney University.

Proud mum, Ema attributed her son's selection to the Lord Almighty whom she believes was the source of blessing to the family.

Each Sunday Volavola goes with his family to the Revival Life Centre Church at Penshurst where his mother sings in the choir, grandmother Esther plays piano, sings and preaches and his uncle plays the bass.

"This is a blessing to the family. I shouted with joy when Ben texted me last Friday saying 'Mum I am a Waratah'. As a family we are so happy and we thank God for this opportunity," an elated Ema said.

She believes young Ben's talent runs through the blood as his grandmother (Ema's mum), Bulou Vasiti Mea Naqova also played netball for Suva while Ratu Peni Volavola played rugby while attending university in England.


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