The Fijian NRL War Horse

When you think rugby league, so many players come to mind. But there’s always that one player in the team who makes the difference when it’s crunch time on the
11 Jan 2015 10:11
The Fijian NRL War Horse

When you think rugby league, so many players come to mind.

But there’s always that one player in the team who makes the difference when it’s crunch time on the field.

Petero Civoniceva is certainly one player Australia has come to respect as one of the greats of the game. He is known to demolish the opposition and be right in the thick of things, gaining that extra metre, that extra push towards the tryline.

Born in Suva on April 21, 1976, Petero moved to Queensland before his first birthday with his parents. He went on the attend Humpybong State School and Redcliffe State High School, finishing his senior years in Southern Cross Catholic College. Petero’s passion for the game started at a very young age after watching his father play rugby and he later went on to play for Redcliffe Dolphins Junior team in 1994.

He played many games off the bench and reserve games before starting his NRL career with the Brisbane Broncos as a centre. After an explosive season where he was in outstanding form, he was given the clubs Rookie of the Year award in 1998, the same year in which the Brisbane Broncos won the NRL Grand Final.

He went on to play for Brisbane with a stellar career being named one of the most valuable and respected players in the history of rugby league.

Petero has also played for his national side representing Australia many times as a great impact player with an uncompromising will to win. To add to his versatility, he was a natural leader on and off the pitch, showing great strength of character and with a fortified determination that made him a person that all the team players looked up to.

The Fijian legend is now in negotiations with the Rugby League officials to prepare a team from Fiji to be admitted into the New South Wales Cup which can help Fiji have a full representation into top level Rugby League exposure.

Petero is very hopeful of getting this newly-formed side in the top division of Australia one day with talks already in progress.

He is now a popular Rugby League TV personality coming on the ABC network talking about Pacific Sports and its many icons that represent this part of the world.

With an amazing 30 State of Origin appearances for Queensland, 34 national appearances for Australia and almost 300 games for the top-rated Brisbane Broncos; it’s easy to see why he is highly regarded. Recently a special medal has been made in his honour and is now being awarded each season to the Australian Fijian Rugby League Player of the Year. I interviewed Petero at length during one of his visits to Fiji and was impressed with his respect and love for his parents. He feels that it is because of his mother, Tima, and father Petero Snr’s love and encouragement that he was able to dedicate and drive himself to the highest sporting echelon in his rugby league career.

The great Fijian is married with four children to loving wife Bonnie. His wife describes him as the gentle giant who is always humbled with a smile wherever he goes. The family usually visits Fiji and this gives his kids a greater opportunity to learn traditions of the Fijian way of life and at the same time get to know the families well.

Admired and respected for his performances on the field and his humility and integrity off the field, I am sure we here will hear more from this fine ambassador of the sport.

The writer is a Fiji Sun columnist.



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