A hero returns

The villagers of Naqali gave a hero's welcome to Wallabies hero no 8 Isireli Naisarani during his welcome ceremony at Naqali village yesterday. Picture: RAMA

AUSTRALIAN rugby back-rower Isi Naisarani was accorded a grand welcome by his family at his village in Naqali in the province of Naitasiri.

The occasion marked a milestone for the people of Lomaivuna as they celebrated Naisarani’s achievement in participating in the 2019 Rugby World Cup since his breakout season in the National Rugby Championship with Brisbane City in 2016.

The 24-year-old thanked his family, the village elders for believing in him and always cheering for him as he played for the Wallabies. “For me what kept me going is family,” he said.

“I never gave up, I never backed out, and I fought my way to make it to the Wallabies team.

“It was tough and through the four-year I was in Australia my aim was to one day don the yellow and green jersey.

“In this life you will struggle your way through to achieve great things, you must have faith in God and always remember that nothing is impossible.”

He also added that one of the main driving forces within the Fijian boys is their family. “Family is the most important part of our life and that is what Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi and I always share,” he said.

“I am grateful to my vasu (maternal side) and to all my elders for their never ending support.”

Isi hails from Naqali Village and has maternal links to Gusuisavu also in the province of Naitasiri.

He is the only boy and is the second eldest of three siblings.

He is a first from his village to play in a world cup and to represent another country.

Watch video:

More Stories