AFTER nine long months of sweat, perseverance and struggle, national 7s forward Jasa Veremalua reaped the fruits of his labour when he was named to represent the country at the HSBC Japan and Hong Kong 7s.
The 24-year-old could not wish for a better reward than to play — again — at the famous So Kon Po Stadium, a place where he had carved his name as one of the few fortunate players to win the iconic 7s crown.
Veremalua said he sacrificed his time to secure his spot.
"This is a great comeback for me, especially to play again in Hong Kong," he said.
"The Hong Kong 7s is special to all Fijians and I am fortunate to be one of the lucky players selected to battle for the country.
"I have been struggling to secure my spot in the national 7s team since the 7s World Cup in Russia.
"Injury and competition from many talented forwards nearly shattered my dreams of representing the country but I never lost hope."
The Hideaway Hurricanes tough man said the only way he could fulfil his dream was through sheer hard work.
"For the past nine months, I have struggled to win my spot back in the national 7s team and I thank the Almighty Lord for his blessing.
"At times I nearly gave up but the passion to represent my country and the desire to make my family proud inspired me to conquer the obstacles.
"And I am grateful that my patience has been rewarded to try and help Fiji retain the Hong Kong 7s title we won last year."
Veremalua scored two tries in their semi-final win over New Zealand before they went on to defeat Wales in the final last year. Meanwhile, he is setting his sights on this weekend's Japan 7s.
Veremalua said winning in Japan would boost the team's chances in Hong Kong.
"My first goal this weekend is to help my teammates win the Japan 7s," said Veremalua.
"I will do all it takes to win the Japan 7s title and make my family and the people of Fiji happy."
Fiji is pooled with Samoa, USA and France at the Japan 7s.