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Milne's rise

Elenoa Baselala In Townsville, Australia
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

TAANE Milne's choice to represent Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup is more than just for the love of the sport, it's part of his journey to know his heritage.

Milne, who has already represented the Junior Kiwis, the Australian Schoolboys has connections to Fiji through his grandfather.

His grandfather moved away from his family when Milne's dad and siblings were still young.

"I don't really know where he is from in Fiji and I have never had any contact with him. But I know I am half Fijian, I have Fijian blood flowing in me," Milne said.

"My aunties were not happy with me playing for Fiji, they said I am a Maori and I should play for the Kiwis.

"I received a call from Mick Potter to play for Fiji against Samoa last year but I couldn't due to personal reasons, I was disappointed.

"But I had let him know that I was keen to play for Fiji this year."

Milne grew up in New Zealand before moving to Australia. Milne represented the Junior Kiwis twice in 2014 and 2015.

He represented the Australian Schoolboys rugby union team in 2013 and made his debut for Fiji against PNG this year.

"This has been an emotional moment for me. One of the best things being in camp is the devotion time and learning some Fijian songs. This has been one of the best camps I have ever been in."

The centre was one described by Benji Marshall as having "one of the best in and aways and flick passes I've seen at training".

Milne scored twice for Fiji in the side's opener against USA at the RLWC on Saturday.

* Profile:

* Born:19 May 1995

* Club: St George Illawarra

* Height: 183cm

* Weight: 103kg

* Position: Centre

* NRL appearances: 18

* First grade debut: St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters, 25/04/2016

* Tests/World Cup appearances: 2

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