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Fiji in the island mix

Alisi Vucago
Thursday, November 09, 2017

THEIR passion for rugby and love for their home country brought brothers Belasio and Joseph Koroiadi back home this week.

But they have a duty to complete while in the Suva City in the next few days.

They are part of the the American Samoan 7s team in this weekend's Oceania 7s Championship at the ANZ Stadium.

They are determined and they have a goal. They want their Fijian 7s prowess to help qualify their adopted country in the first three legs of the upcoming HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Belasio, 20, said after moving to American Samoa 18 years ago, he was glad to be back home to experience the Fijian life that they had long craved for.

"I represented the side last year at the Oceania 7s, but I think it's better for me that I am here with my brother doing what we love to do," he said.

"We have improved on our fitness level for this tournament because last year we were not really good with that.

"It feels good being here and seeing a lot of Fijian people. I really want to try out the famous bean cart that my mother had been telling me about."

The Bua lads from Vanua Levu has maternal links to Rotuma and has focused their game plan on their fitness level and confidence. They believe these would have a ripple effect on the skills they showcased on the field.

Belasio said rugby should be played with heart and soul and teamwork was key to winning every match.

Being the youngest player on the side, Joseph, 19, said the love for rugby was a norm in the family as both his father and uncle played 7s rugby in Fiji with legends such as Waisale Serevi and Marika Vunibaka.

"It is encouraging having my brother and other older players in the team who are always pushing us to play to the best of our abilities," said Joseph.

"And then having my father Belasio Koroiadi and uncle Sefo Koroiadi talk about their rugby days back in Fiji really drove my passion for the sport."

With Waisea Nacuqu and Vatemo Ravouvou as his rugby idols, Joseph hopes to one day wear the white jersey to an international tournament.

The American Samoa side is in Pool A where they will take on Fiji and New Caledonia this weekend.

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