Flying Fijian Veitokani counts his blessing

Alivereti Veitokani delivers the ball to Vereniki Goneva during the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians team trainining session at Albert Park in Suva on Monday, August 05, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

ALIVERETI Veitokani recalled a few years back when he was playing local rugby 7s and 15s competition hoping to don the national Flying Fijians jersey but he never thought that moment was around the corner.

As the former Fijian Drua flyhalf ran his way through the development stages of Fiji rugby until he gained a promising offer from the London Irish club last year, he wasn’t expecting a sudden twist from local player to represent Fiji to the Rugby World Cup.

During the Flying Fijians extended squad preparation, Veitokani still couldn’t believe he was selected to represent the Flying Fijians to the world cup.

“I would firstly and foremost thank the Almighty because he used me as a good example of His power and strength that whenever one door closes, another one opens and he took that opportunity,” said Veitokani.

“To be selected to be part of the world cup squad is a blessing and I will do my part and that is to give my best for my country and if I can be where I am today, I have no doubt that local rugby players can do that as well.”

The Lomainasau rugger plays utility back for the Flying Fijians team, one of the very few players that have the strength, pace and skills to do that. Veitokani plays for the London Irish rugby club as fullback.

The former Ratu Kadavulevu School student previously played for the Fiji 7s team and the Fijian Drua in the Australian domestic National Rugby Championship where he won the 2018 Rising Star award.

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