WAISAKE Naholo only wishes his grandfather was alive to see his rapid rise in New Zealand rugby.
Earlier this week, the Nadroga speedster landed a two-year contract with the Auckland Blues for the Super Rugby season.
Naholo follows in the line of players with ties to Fiji — Joeli Vidiri, Waisake Sotutu, Vula Maimuri, Isa Nacewa, Viliame Waqaseduadua and David Raikuna — to don the Blues jumper.
Naholo, commonly known as 'Wise' to friends, has sped up the rugby ranks since playing for the New Zealand under-20 rugby side at the Junior World Championship last year.
He later made his debut for the New Zealand 7s team in Las Vegas under the guidance of Gordon Tietjens.
While fond memories of his grandfather flash in his mind every now and then, the 21-year-old is always out to impress in each game.
His granddad passed away last year and now he gets his motivation from his grandmother, Torika Waqesi.
Naholo said his grandparents were always there for him since he was a little boy.
"My grandma and granddad were always there for us when I was little and when I made the New Zealand U20, I wanted my granddad to see me play," Naholo said.
"But he passed away and did not get to see me represent New Zealand. So every game I play now I dedicate it to my grandma. And now that she does not have granddad around anymore, it's the love I have for her that motivates me to play my best."
Naholo aims to play in every Super Rugby game for the Blues in the new season.
"My aim is to make the 22 in every game," the Taranaki rugby winger told Times Sport.
"I normally have game goals that I have to get when I play and that motivates me to always nail them plus my grandma is my biggest motivation. I always want to make her proud every time I get on the field."
Naholo touched down 20 times while representing New Zealand in five IRB tournaments last season.
He also played an instrumental role for Taranaki in the ITM Cup competition.
"I'm so blessed to be named in the Blues squad and I am looking forward to it," Naholo said of his inclusion.