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Fijian ruggers shine

Arin Kumar
Thursday, July 17, 2014

FIJIAN recruits have helped turn the fortunes of the Box Hill Broncos rugby club of Melbourne in Australia.

The players of Ovalau were part of the Youth With Mission initiative of the Rugby Plus organisation.

The top two players Save Waqaluquduadua and Felipe Koroibola are also eying Wallabies jumper.

Broncos coach Andrew Slyfield told ABC News the Fijian players had a lot to do with their team's improvement.

"Last year we went through and we lost against every team. Today we've beaten every team in the competition," Slyfield was quoted as saying on abc.net.au.

"They're probably quite a calming influence for us because it's not all show, it's out there going, it's OK to trust your abilities."

Former Flying Fijians coach Ilivasi Tabua, who is with the Rugby Plus program told ABC News rugby is a religion in Fiji.

"Everybody plays rugby," he was quoted as saying on abc.net.au.

"Any afternoon you go around to every grass patch on the island and you see young kids, from toddlers or from two-year olds, three-year olds, running around throwing an object."

He said the main aim of their program was to instil discipline of the game off the field and into the everyday lives of the players.

"If you're already a champion off the field in your life — with your relationship with your family, your friends, your community and those around you — then everything will transform itself into the 80 minutes which is just a rugby game."

Waqaluquduadua, Koroibola and Sefa Naivalu have been selected in the training squad for Melbourne Rising, the feeder club to the Melbourne Rebels in the Super 15 competition.

And Koroibola is one of those who has set his sights on representing Australia in the future.

"The first time I went to Box Hill it was hard for me to speak out to (the other players)," he was quoted as saying on abc.net.au.

"But when the game was going, it opened me to speak to them and to know them, know their heart so they can know me and so we can know each other in playing.

"The sky's the limit.

"I'm aiming to represent Australia wearing that yellow jersey."

Waqaluquduadua said Rugby Plus brought about a huge change in his life.

"Mentally, physically and here with the program, I've grown spiritually as well," he was quoted as saying on abc.net.au.

"It has taken me to places where I have never been before.

"I have achieved things I have never achieved before and I really see things I have never seen before."





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