Former Tailevu star dies

James Vuli, second from right, in one of his games for Tailevu in provincial competitions. Picture: SUPPLIED

TAILEVU Rugby Union is mourning the death of one of its former and star players, James Vuli.

He died last Saturday after a short illness.

His former captain Jone Kaila along with former Tailevu teammates Sairusi Kadi, Solo Qalomai, Taitusi Kadi, Emosi Tagivakatini and Savenaca Vamau, gathered to remember the nippy flyhalf.

Sairusi Kadi said Vuli joined the union when he was 19 years old when he played for Ratu Kadavulevu School.

“It was under the leadership of Ratu Kitione Vesikula that he brought in Vuli to join the main team,” Kadi said.

“He was one of the most dangerous and well respected player on and off the field. Jeke as he is called, was the most targeted player by other provicial teams.

“He knew the game well and he read the game well.

He was a quiet person off the field, but when he was on the field, he made his presence felt by the way he played.

“He was a small skinny guy who was hard to catch. Our mission was to protect him because our opponents were always after him.

“In 1998 when he joined, we played Nadi for the Farebrother Trophy which we won and that same year he broke his leg which affected him all throughout his life until his untimely passing. ”

He was a member of the Tailevu team that beat Lautoka in the Farebrother Trophy challenge under coach Apenisa Sassen.

In 2004, Tailevu successfully defended the title against Nadi and won it again in 2007 from Nadroga.

He will be buried on Friday at the Vunimono Village cemetery.

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