17 February, 2016, 12:00 am
EVERY young athlete dreams to represent the nation and don its colours one day.
This was the same dream that young Frank Lomani of Nukubalavu, Savusavu had.
Straight from Nasavusavu to Marist Brothers High, Lomani played rugby at Kaji level and is now part of the elite program of Fiji rugby and recently joined the Fiji 7s squad.
“I played in the Milo Kaji from U9 to U13 for Nasavusavu Public School and only joined Marist last year,” Lomani said.
A cousin of former Flying Fijians Albert Vulivuli, Lomani said he understood he may not make it straight into the Las Vegas and Vancouver team but he aimed to impress Vodafone 7s coach Ben Ryan in training as he eyes Rio.
As he marched into camp with many senior players in the 7s team, Lomani thanked those from his Nukubalavu Village that have always supported him in his rugby, the Marist family and his coach for having the faith in him.
“I thank Ben and the 7s team manager for giving me the opportunity to join the squad and learn from the national side,” Lomani said.
“What I want is to learn as much as I can in terms of skills especially with the experienced players in the team.”
National team manager Ropate Kauvesi said Lomani joined the squad through the recommendation of the national under-20 coach Salimoni Ravouvou.
Kauvesi said the opportunity offered would allow Lomani and Kaveni Dabenaisi to learn to be in the environment of elite training and be with players such as Osea Kolinisau and Isake Katonibau at the age they are in.
“It gives them the opportunity to be exposed and to experience being in the national team, eating the right food, nutrition, the right water intake, mental preparation and pushing their pain barrier.
“At his age, he has a bright future in front of him and the same goes to Kaveni,” Kauvesi said.
Meanwhile the team had a fitness test yesterday and heavy training sessions have been planned for them this week.