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Cakaubalavu to play for his parents

Sikeli Qounadovu In Dubai
Thursday, November 30, 2017

WHEN Apenisa Cakaubalavu decided to play rugby, the two most important people in his life stood by him — his parents.

Sadly though as he prepares to run into the pitch at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai this weekend, he will be without one of his greatest fans — his father who died last year.

Born and raised in his mother's village in Waiqanake which is 45 minutes from Suva City, his father would follow him around whenever and wherever he played, whether in club rugby or 7s rugby competition.

He was a member of the Waiqanake Rugby Club before joining the champion Red Rock Club.

Cakaubalavu was among players groomed by the late Red Rock 7s team coach, Lote Rasiga.

Rasiga coached former national 7s reps such as Aporosa Dauvucu, Sireli Bobo, Mosese Dunadamu, Manasa Bola, Lepani Nabuliwaqa, Niumaia Cakacaka, Sitiveni Waqa, Peni Gaunimeke and current rep Jasa Veremalua to name a few.

Cakaubalavu, who now plays for the champion Tabadamu 7s team, became the latest player to come through the Red Rock 7s team to national 7s selection.

"Lote taught us a lot," he said.

"This week I want to dedicate my debut game to my late father and also my mother in the village who remains my most loyal supporter. She has been there for me every step of the way.

"I want to play really well to make my family proud."

During the scrimmaging session with the Spain team this week in Dubai, Cakaubalavu was named to start in the forwards with Josua Vakurinabuli and Apisai Domolailai. Waisea Nacuqu was at half-back, Amenoni Nasilasila at first-five-eighth while the Drua combination of John Stewart and Eroni Sau were at rover and wing respectively.

"It was hard for me to come, but my wife stood by me and encouraged me to come. I am happy that I have a very supporting wife. This year has been a very busy year and ever since playing for the Drua team, I have been away from home most of the time."

Originally from Naikorokoro, Sanima in Kadavu, the 29-year-old is calling on members of the public for prayers and support.

"All we ask is your prayers and support. This is not an easy task and we need your support," he said.

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