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Ravulo joins North Harbour

July 24
12:00 2008

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND .
Ra native Malakai Ravulo continues his stride into the New Zealand Provincial competition after being drafted into the North Harbour squad this season.
The former national Under-21 loose forward has started in all four of North Harbour’s pre-season matches and is earmarked at No.7 in their opening Air New Zealand Cup match against Taranaki next week.
Former national coach Wayne Pivac pulled Ravulo from division two side, Poverty Bay where he had spent two seasons under Paul Feeney.
Ravulo was Bay’s player of the year and was also nominated for the division two player of the year award after an outstaying season with Poverty Bay who retained their Lochore Cup title last year.
The Nawaqavesi villager’s popularity has risen and he was called into the New Zealand sevens training squad by Gordon Tietjens along with fellow Fijian Jona Tuitoga who is also in the Harbour outfit.
Ravulo was a member of the talented 2004 national U-21 side that included the likes of Samuela Dawai (Perpignan), Netani Talei (Worcester), Jerry Yanuyanutawa (Australia A), Manoa Vosawai (Italy) and Maleli Kunavore (Toulouse).
Flying Fijian coach Ilivasi Tabua said they would keep a close watch on eligible players for national duties next season.
Tabua said Fijians have had stamped their mark in New Zealand and are in high demand in South Africa.
“It’s good to see our players are in demand in the NPC and the last time we heard South Africa wanted more Fijian players and we just hope Australia follows suite,” Tabua said.
“But definitely we are keeping a close watch on these players and will communicate with them in the interest of Fiji Rugby.”
Watisoni Lotawa is another notable player who has been named in the Auckland squad.
Other Fijians in the competition include David Raikuna, Seremaia Tagicakibau (Counties), Sekonaia Qaraniqio, Randal Kamea (Otago), Noa Soqeta (Southland), Nemia Soqeta (Taranaki), Henry Speight (Waikato) and Api Naikatini (Wellington).

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