JOSEFA Nakaira Dolesau is set to become the first Fijian to play for the Canadian national rugby team.
The Burnaby Lake Rugby Club player has been named in the Canada A team for the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) Tournament next month.
Canada A, USA Select, Uruguay and Argentina Jaguars will take part in the tournament which will be played in a round-robin basis starting on October 11. Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (BLRC) president Mike Devlin said they were proud of Dolesau's achievements.
He said the Fijian deserved the calling and wished him the best in the upcoming tournament.
"I've known Joe for four years since he arrived in Vancouver to play rugby for the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club," Devlin said.
"Joe made an immediate impact on our men's premier team, quickly striking fear in opposition coaches with his intelligent defence, explosive running and a 'Fijian step' that makes other Fijians take notice."
During his years with the BLRC, Dolesau has been named the club's Most Valuable Premier Back, the club 7s MVP on two occasions and captained the team to two consecutive BC Rugby 7s Series Championships.
Devlin said Dolesau was also a member of the BC Bears provincial rugby team in 2011 and 2013 and was named the 2011 Canadian Rugby Championship MVP for his exciting play that year.
"Joe is a caliber of athlete and rugby player that we in Canada rarely get to see," Devlin added.
"I'm fortunate enough to see Joe at work every day, as great a rugby player as he is, his strongest quality is his heart.
"You couldn't find a nicer, happier man than Joe. Rarely do you see him without a big smile on his face and I can't recall ever seeing him in a bad mood.
"I know that he's very involved in his church and gives back to the Fijian and Canadian community whenever possible."