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Top try-scorer

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, March 05, 2014

FIJIAN rugby superstar Metuisela Talebula looks set to become the third Fijian to write his name in the French Top 14 rugby competition history book as the season's top try scorer.

And playing against his fellow countrymen has helped the Bordeaux-Bègles flyer to come out of his comfort zone and stamp his dominance in French rugby.

Talebula arrived into the country yesterday with one of his best friends and rugby nemesis Alipate Raitini for a short break.

The former Lelean Memorial School student has scored 12 tries so far this season and is set to follow in the footsteps of Napolioni Nalaga and Rupeni Caucau as the competition's top try scorer.

Nalaga topped the try scoring list with 16 tries in 2008 while Caucau scored 17 tries in 2006.

And with five games remaining, Talebula hopes to write his name alongside his fellow Fijians in the French rugby history book.

Talebula said playing against players such as Nalaga, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Jo Rokocoko, Timoci Matanavou, Waisea Nayacalevu, Seremaia Burotu, Timoci Nagusa, Raitini, Noa Naikataci and Vereimi Vakatawa made him to play better.

The former national 7s rep said facing his fellow countrymen had been a huge challenge but their friendships are left off the field during the 80-minute game time.

"We are best friends off the field but on the field I gave my outmost best to help my team beat my fellow Fijian brothers," said Talebula.

"It's difficult playing against the Fijian boys but on the other hand it inspired me to work harder and this enabled me to top the try scoring list.

"Scoring 12 tries so far this season is a huge achievement for me taking into consideration the number of star players in France."

Talebula's impressive performance has caught the attention of other rugby giants in Europe but his allegiance remains with Bordeaux.

He said he would not comment about his future since he had two more years with his current club.

"I have been approached by many top rugby teams in Europe but my priority lies with my team since I still have two more years with the club."

Talebula, who scored two tries against Top 14 top of the points table Clermont last weekend, was suppose to play with Raitini for the Natabua Gold at this weekend's Fiji Bitter Marist 7s but his Lautoka-based team missed the cut to play in Suva.

The former national 7s playmaker will, however, feature for Natabua during the Lomavata 7s to be held at Lautoka's Churchill Park on Saturday.

The duo returns to France next week.





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