JOSEFA Lilidamu still rues the missed opportunity of playing for the Fiji 7s side in the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The Japan-based player was called in to replace suspended Ilai Tinai in the Tokyo 7s last year but was unable to secure release from his club.
The Kadavu lad was disappointed but didn't lose the hope of playing for his home country.
He waited for another opportunity to fulfil his childhood dream.
But that opportunity came from his adopted country Japan.
Lilidamu made his debut for Japan in the Hong Kong 7s in So Kon Po and even got a try in his maiden match against Trinidad Tobago.
"At first I was disappointed not able to play for my country but come to think about it, Japan has looked after me for the past four years," he said.
Lilidamu has been studying sports science at the Ryutsu-keizai University in Japan since 2010.
The former Ratu Navula College student said it was the love for the sport that had him going strong on the field.
"It doesn't feel all right (playing for Japan) but I guess it's the love for the sport that keeps me strong."
Lilidamu dedicated his debut in the International Rugby Board 7s series to his family and friends.
"This is for my mum and dad, my namesake and my two sisters."