Droasese ‘a very hardworking player’

Ilaisa Droasese and Semi Radradra congratulate each other after the game against Australia, 17 September 2023 at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne, France. Photo Martin Seras Lima

From being a promising soccer striker in the Fiji primary school’s football competition to earning a spot as a fullback for the FIJI Water Flying Fijians, Ilaisa Droasese has come a long way.

Before making a name for himself in rugby, Droasese was a crafty and skillful striker at age-grade, according to his former under-14 soccer coach master Timoci Jim Seru at Ba Primary School.

In fact, Droasese scored the winning goal for Ba Sangam Primary School against Lautoka Primary School in 2012 during the Fiji Primary Schools Inter District Championship.

“He was a very hardworking player who knew what to do in order to make his team win,” said Seru.

He played in the local primary school competition from 2011 to 2013, representing Ba Sangam Primary School and AD Patel Primary School, before moving to Cuvu College.

The DAV Primary School teacher added that Droasese developed a keen interest in rugby after moving to Cuvu College and his talent was noticed by Fiji Rugby Union senior operations officer Tiko Matawalu.

“He played full-time rugby at Cuvu College, where Tiko Matawalu identified his talent and developed him further.

“As a striker, he had pace to burn and used to take a lot of shots and I think that helped him into his role as a good fullback with his strong kicking game that we witness now.” Seru added that he was happy when he saw Droasese play rugby on the world stage.

“I am really happy that I trained him in soccer and now he has transferred those skills into rugby.

“My messages to Droasese and the entire Flying Fijians team is all the best for the next two games and come up with a bonus point wins as we want Fiji to play in the quarter-finals,” said Seru.

Droasese has previously also played for Queensland Reds in Super Rugby where he was used as a wing and centre.

However, after he joined the Fijian Drua in 2021 the utility backline player was mostly used as a full-back under Mick Byrne.

The 24-year-old, who debuted for the Flying Fijians in their Pacific Nations match against Samoa this year, has so far donned the black and white six times and started in both our World Cup matches against Wales and Australia.

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