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Bukuya hopes it will be third time lucky for Fiji Bati

Thursday, September 14, 2017

In a career that has been affected by injuries, Jason Bukuya has found a home in the Sutherland Shire.

Bukuya's international career began in 2008, the same year he signed a professional contract for the Sharks, during the World Cup in Australia. He played all four games for Fiji, helping his ancestral nation to victories over France and Ireland before losing to Australia in the semi-final. Five years later, in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, it was a case of deja vu for Bukuya as Fiji were again knocked out by Australia in the semifinal. Since then, Bukuya moved briefly to New Zealand Warriors, however after only one season he returned to Cronulla Sharks. In 2016, as the Sharks won their first premiership, he played 25 games, scored five tries and made a big impact off the bench in the grand final.

"I had to hang in there because there were plenty of times I wanted to throw it in," he told during that dream season.

Now a senior statesman of the Fiji side, Bukuya will be expected to lead from the front. The Cronulla forward rings his mother before every game and is proud to represent Fiji.

"My dad passed away when I was very young," he told the Caboolture Shire Herald in 2013, "but is something we love to celebrate as a family."

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