Players need to focus

Former national rugby rep, Sireli Naqelevuki sets a move during the Fiji Legends team training at the USP grounds in Nasese, Suva on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FORMER Super 14 Stormers’ winger, Sireli Naqelevuki returns to the rugby paddock on Saturday as part of the Fiji Legends clash against the visiting Classic Wallabies.

This will be the curtain-raiser to the National Rugby Championship encounter between the Fiji Airways Drua and the Melbourne Rising at Nausori’s Ratu Cakobau Park.

The former Flying Fijian has cautioned the Fijian players to in put their 100 per cent focus if they want to have a successful rugby career.

“Time has changed,” he said.

“When we used to play rugby, life was hard and sometimes the pay did not come with what we expected. But we managed to pull through with the support from our families. “Now Fijian players are in demand overseas and to top that, the pay nowadays is much better than what we used to earn. Players should always remember to be humble and always support their families here at home.”

The Kadavu native played for the Suva Highlanders in the Colonial Cup before joining the Fiji 7s team and Western Province Rugby Union in South Africa in the Currie Cup where he played 29 games, scoring 19 tries. After a solid performance for the provincial team, he was selected for the Stormers Super 14 franchise team.

He made a return to the Fiji 7s team when he was included in the George leg of the 2009-10 IRB Sevens World Series after injuries to two players. Fiji coach then, Iliesa Tanivula decided against getting replacement from Fiji as it would be expensive and with Naqelevuki’s ability to play in the forwards and backline, no other replacements were needed.

Naqelevuki said playing for the Fiji Legends on Saturday was a big boost for him and his fellow former national team players.

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