Fiji Time: 9:44 AM on Tuesday 23 January

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Local talents

Paulini Ratulailai
Monday, January 01, 2018

FIJI born England rugby team winger, Semesa Rokoduguni has thrown his support behind local players.

He is here on holiday and calls on home-based players to prove themselves if they want to make a name in rugby union.

The 30-year-old Naselai Village, Nuku, Tailevu native is a British Army officer and is a member of the England rugby team.

He is in the country to celebrate Christmas and New Year with his family and also on a recovery break from a shoulder injury he sustained during the game against Argentina late last year.

Roko was called in to replace Elliot Dayl, who suffered a knee injury and now the Tailevu man has suffered another setback, but that hasn't affected his spirit.

"I will be out for about three to four months because of this shoulder injury and the main focus for me is to recover well," he said.

"With 2018, my focus is to get my fitness back and look after my shoulder which is stopping me from playing.

"I was given an option to take a rehab or surgery. I told the coaches I would go for shoulder rehab. I just want to get it done and forget about it so that I can start a new season strongly.

"I was surprised to be called into the England squad. I was benched in all the three Tests. I got injured in the game against Argentina so I was given a couple weeks off so I came home for a break to spend Christmas and new year with my family."

Lance Corporal Rokoduguni called on coaches and players in Fiji to make use of local talents, even for international matches instead of those playing overseas,

"Fiji has a lot of good players and they should be given a chance to showcase their talents, so they too can secure a contract abroad.

"I see most Fijians that their only option is rugby if they do not work.

"Fiji has what it takes to beat big teams. It nearly beat Ireland couple of months ago and that showed what Fiji can achieve out there.

"We have players who are dangerous on the field. We got the pack and defence and we can do the job. It's just the matter of getting the players into the game plan."

Tubuna, as they call him in his village, dedicates his achievement to his family and workmates.

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