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March 02
10:28 2014

Josaia Rabele Dakuitoga.


Former Vodafone Fiji Bati rugby league coach Josaia Rabele Dakuitoga and Pio Kubuwai were last night inducted into the Australian Fijians Rugby League’s Hall of Fame in Penrith, Australia.
Rabele who is currently the Fiji National Rugby League’s development manager said he was honoured to be given such a recognition during the Petero Civoniceva’s Medal Evening.
“It was something I was not expecting since I was always working in Fiji but they have come to recognise whatever little contribution I’ve done for the sport,” he said.
The huge Vanua Levu native admitted that all things were made possible through divine intervention and thanked his family, media and the rugby league fraternity for their endless support.

Rabele who played at wing was plucked out of the NSW Cup competition to play for NRL club Penrith Panthers from 1994 to 1995. He went on to represent the Vodafone Fiji Bati at the 1995 World Cup where he secured a contract with UK based-club Sheffield Eagles and played in the Super League competition. In 2008, he coached Fiji to the World Cup in Sydney, Australia where they reached the Cup semifinal for the first time.
When contacted Fiji NRL deputy chairman Josefa Ravatudei said Rabele was one player who always had Fiji at heart.
“He has great faith in the local players and always champions them all the time. “After playing in Australia and England, Rabele returned home and worked with the parent body in developing the sport,” he said.
Ravatudei said the hard work put in by Rabele over the years is now evident with the increasing number of Fijian players playing in the Country competition, NSW Cup, Queensland Cup, NRL Holden Cup and the NRL competition.
“We are proud of Rabele’s achievements as well as Pio Kubuwai and we wish them well,” he added.
Kubuwai, who now resides in Australia, was a member of the first batch of Fijian players who switched to rugby league in 1992.
The Ra native, who is a veterinarian by profession, also represented Fiji in rugby and was dubbed the Black Shark.
His switch to rugby league saw him play for NRL club Cronulla Sharks in 1995.

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