Family man: Ratave makes decision to play for loved ones

Super Rugby Fijian Drua wing, Onisi Ratave at the Naqarani Rugby team celebration at Kinoya Village in Nasinu on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Former Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Benetton bound winger Onisi Ratave said the main purpose for his decision to accept the Italian club’s offer was for the wellbeing of his family.

“I took the offer from Benetton for my family,” said the 30-year-old Naqarani, Rewa native.

“My family is very important to me and I knew age was catching up so I had to make a decision that not only benefits me but them too. That is what drives me to play the sport and I am thankful for the opportunity.”

Ratave knows how intense competition is in Italy and said he was ready for the challenge.

“I had been keeping tabs on the Italian competition and I can tell that it is really tough. I will have to prepare well before heading to Italy and I am ready to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in European rugby.”

Looking back at the Drua’s first season in the Super Rugby Pacific competition, Ratave is happy that he was a part of the nation’s first Super Rugby Pacific team and said good things were coming for Fijian rugby.

“From my point of view, Fijian rugby had taken a big step in being included in the Super Rugby competition. It will boost the development of local players and I know next year will be a good year for the Drua.

“I am happy to be a part of the Drua team in its first season and it will be a memory that will be forever cherished.”

He urges young and enthusiastic rugby players to be patient and the opportunity will come knocking on their door.

“My message to aspiring rugby players is to always be patient and work hard.

“I am a firm believer of this as I was once in their shoes.

“All the hard work you put in now will reap fruitful benefits and I urge all youngsters to follow their dream no matter the outcome.”

Ratave is on a two-year deal with the Italian Benetton side and is expected to join his new club by July 1.

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