Nadroga rugby union president Tiko Matawalu said the late Ratu Isikeli Tasere has left behind a benchmark that would be very hard to surpass.
Matawalu was among hundreds of mourners who gathered at Nayawa Village in Sigatoka yesterday to farewell one of Nadroga's famous sons in rugby and also someone who stamped his mark in Fiji rugby.
People from all walks of life endured the heat as they wanted to say their final goodbye to a gentleman, chief and a rugby warrior.
Matawalu said he personally came to know the late chief better when he became the president of Nadroga rugby union in 2008 replacing Ratu Meli Kurisaru who passed away the same year.
"He taught me what it meant to become a Nadroga player and the rich history behind it," said Matawalu.
The former national prop added it would be very hard to replace or even emulate him.
Matawalu said during the church service when he looked around the church, all former rugby reps were there but no Tui Madudu.
"He not only taught me rugby in the Nadroga perspective but the mechanism of the vanua in the province of Nadroga/Navosa and how they are deeply related with rugby.
"He always had the ability to solve any difficulties when differences arise within the committee but never shy away to speak his mind if somebody was not towing the line.
"Something I admired from him was he never went behind somebody's back, he was a straight shooter, a hard worker and led by example something we rarely see these days.
"I was comfortable working with him and our traditional relationship helped a lot.
"Even though he's gone, he has left behind a legacy."