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Sevens dream

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DREAM has come true for 17-year-old Waisea Daroko after being named in the Vodafone National 7s training squad.

The St John's College Form 7 student said representing Fiji in rugby was a goal he had set out four years ago.

He said he was honoured to complete his first training session under the guidance of national coach Ben Ryan in Rakiraki yesterday.

The Nakalavo, Nadroga, native believed this would be a stepping stone to further his career in representing the country at the HSBC IRB 7s series.

"Four years ago I had set my dream to play for Fiji at the age of 17 years," said Daroko.

"This is my second time in the national team and I am looking forward to the challenges," said Daroko.

"I had fulfilled this dream after being named in the Fiji Secondary School under-18 team that toured Australia last year but being called to join the national 7s training squad this week came as a surprise."

Daroko said his aim was to be selected in the final team which would be a perfect birthday gift.

"I will be celebrating my 18th birthday later this month and I believe my selection here is a stepping stone to developing my rugby talents.

"And I am blessed to have Ben Ryan as my coach.

"This kind of training is different compared to my previous coaches — imagine this is the only first day of training in the 7s team.

"I will learn as much as I can and try and improve my overall performance."

Despite being focused on rugby training, education remains a priority for Daroko.

He said he would utilise his spare time on studying his notes while in camp.

"I don't find any difficulty in my schoolwork because I have ample time to study at night," he said.

"Being involved with rugby and education also taught me to manage my time well."

Ryan said he identified Daroko during a rugby tournament on Ovalau last month.

"I was on Ovalau a few months ago where I was told about this boy and I have watched couple of tapes and wanted to test him out in the squad," he said.

St John's College principal Father Ekuasi Manu said the school was proud of Daroko's achievement.

"Waisea Daroko is in Form 7 this year and was part of the Fiji Secondary School U18 team that toured Australia last year.

"As a school we are proud of Waisea's recognition by Ben Ryan and the management of the Fiji team," he said.

"Frankly, his selection has been anticipated as he has been a good ambassador for the school since he started in Year 9.

"Waisea has been training since the school holidays and certainly, this will be the break he has been waiting for.

"Waisea will be following in the footsteps of former St John's students Fero Lasagavibau and Amasio Raoma who have represented Fiji and New Zealand respectively in 7s rugby," he added.

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