4 November, 2017, 12:00 am
FATE has been kind to Tuicaumatalevu Kamikamica.
Kamikamica’s journey to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup started at Churchill Park in Lautoka five years ago.
Ironically, he was spotted by a Parramatta Eels scout while playing rugby union for the Queen Victoria School under-18 team against Nasinu Secondary School in the final of the Deans competition.
Standing at 1.95m, Kamikamica currently plays for Melbourne Storm.
“It is a privilege and an honour to be selected for the Rugby League World Cup,” the prop said.
“I am here not only representing my country but my friends and family as well.”
Kamikamica hails from Somosomo, Taveuni and is a vasu of Wailevu, Tunuloa in Cakaudrove.
And like many in the Vodafone Fiji Bati side, rugby league has been a source of blessing and economic opportunities for them and their families.
“We didn’t have much and we struggled a bit as a family. That has been a source of motivation for me — to work hard for my family.”
Kamikamica has a younger sister and spent his early childhood on Taveuni.
“Like many kids in the village, I would get a hiding for staying out too long when it was dusk playing.
“But it has sort of shaped who I am today.”
The contract with Parramatta Eels under-20 came as a shock to Kamikamica and his family.
“The scout came to me after the final of the Deans and asked if my parents were watching and he wanted to meet them.
“We met again at the Holiday Inn where they explained everything and they also had a contract ready.
“I was asked to sign the contract if I wanted to take up the offer.
“I signed â€¦ my parents were emotional because they knew I had started to earn for myself â€¦ sa toso qo â€¦”
But settling in was not easy and again he relied on the support from home to keep him going in Melbourne.
“I missed home a lot but by the second year, I had settled.”
Kamikamica started against USA last week and is expected to start against Wales tomorrow.
Born:18 May 1994
First grade debut: Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers, 01/04/2017
Tests/World Cup appearances:3