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Former Fijian 7s Stars Secure Contracts With NRL club

Ravisa and Sauto played for Team Fiji women’s rugby 7s team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
26 Apr 2019 12:28
Former Fijian 7s Stars Secure Contracts With NRL club
Timaima Ravisa, Jiowana Sauto and Roela Radiniyavuni.

For the first time the Fiji National Rugby League has endorsed the contracts of three women players who have secured contracts with New Zealand’s NRL club Auckland Warriors.

They are former Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s players of Timaima Ravisa, Jiowana Sauto and Roela Radiniyavuni who have signed on with the Warriors.

Ravisa and Sauto played for Team Fiji women’s rugby 7s team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, 30-year-old wing turned fullback Ravisa was overwhelmed with her achievement.

“I’m really happy and excited to secure my first ever international contract,” Ravisa said.

“I have had previously played for the Fiji Airways Fijiana side for the past seven years and represented at four HSBC Sevens series as well.

“My journey venturing into rugby league has been successful.

“Just within six months of playing rugby league has enabled me to secure a contract which I am forever grateful for.”

The Savudrodro, Savusavu native has also made it to the FNRL’s women’s 9s extended team for the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa on July 7-20.

FNRL executive chairman Peni Musunamasi said it was a proud moment for rugby league in the country as they can see the outcome of the development of the sport which led to the women play- ers securing contracts.

“Yes, we’ve confirmed three female players who have managed to get an overseas contract to play at the New Zealand- based club,” Musunamasi said.

“This is a very big achievement for FNRL as a whole especially seeing all the hard work paid off on the development of the sport and seeing players actually venturing into another level in their sporting career.

Vodafone Fiji Bati head coach Brandon Costin said: “It is great to have three local girls with six months experience being able to secure contracts with the Auckland Warriors.

“So there is development of rugby league for males and females. So our sport is all inclusive and we are not only looking at male players.

“The first thing I did was that I went to NRL to secure the contracts and what I found out from them was that they needed Fijian players who is between the age of 16 to 19 so we can shape them and build them in our model.

“So I asked them what you need from that 16-year-old that will make them different from the others. And the reply I got was that 20 per cent of our NRL sides are absolute superstars and another 80 per cent is made of hard work.

“So, teaching these players hard work, commitment, work ethic and discipline and if they show some talent their whole foundation is built on hard work so we know definitely they will be a success.

“What we’re exactly trying to do with FNRL is creating an opportunity for local players to become an professional rugby league player and have programmes in placed for participants as young as 12-years- olds.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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