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Cakobau a Stallion

December 20
10:30 2012

Seru Cakobau (left), and former All Black Aaron Mauger.

By VUNIWAQA BOLA

He has gone as far as playing for the Fiji Warriors and has been a crucial member of the Nadroga Stallions in the Digicel Cup and Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy challenge.
Seru Cakobau Tabaiwalu, 24, started playing soccer when he grew up and represented Cuvu College as a goalkeeper.
Seru as he is affectionately known, only decided to playrugby when he was bored to go for maths class and it was just in time when his school was recruiting players for the Under-16 rugby team.
“I have always played soccer but Dad has been telling me to switch to rugby because he played rugby,”Cakobau said.
“But it was not until the school started recruiting players for an U16 team which just came in time with the day I felt lazy to go for my mathematics class,” Cakobau said.
Many may have been asking where he is originally from, being a Cakobau and playing for Nadroga.
“Dad, Samuela Tabaiwalu is originally from the Tui Kaba clan in Bau, Tailevu and only came to Nadroga to work at the Hyatt Hotel, now the Outrigger on the Lagoon.
“I was born and raised in Yavulo, Nadroga where mum, Mereseini Kelea is from,” Cakobau said.
From the day he joined the U16 rugby team of Cuvu in 2004, he continued playing until 2007 when he had to move to Lomawai Secondary School to be in the U19 team as Cuvu College didn’t have any U19 team that year.
This was also, where his talent was sighted, but this centre cum hooker player only changed his position to be in the front row when former Flying Fijians hooker and the late Isaia Rasila told him that he would operate best upfront.
“I started as a centre and when I moved to Lomawai,”Cakobau said.
“We were the first team from the school to reach the quarterfinal of the Deans competition but unfortunately we lost to Nasinu Secondary School.
“It was at the Deans competition that Epeli Naituivau (Fiji Rugby Union development officer) saw me and named me in the 2008 Junior World Championship team to Wales.
“I played for Fiji than in the following year, 2009, I started playing for the senior Nadroga team where I was at most times understudying Tiko Matawalu,” Cakobau said.
“From when I played centre to being moved upfront, I’m enjoying every bit of it, one year after representing Nadroga, I joined the Fiji Warriors in 2010 and again this year in the Pacific Rugby Cup competition,” he added.
Moreover, playing alongside experienced and big names in Fiji rugby like Matawalu, Mosese Volavola, Iliesa Ratuva, Jiuta Lutumailagi and many more has given him the much-needed experience.
“These players have all allowed me to gain experience from playing alongside them and especially Tiko (Matawalu), someone who’s always been there to push me through, telling me to work hard to achieve something.”

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