Rugby | SPORTS

Rising Lock Eyes Fijian 7s Jumper

I want to become the first Indo-Fijian to play for the national sevens side in the HSBC World Sevens Series. Those were the sentiments of Seaqaqa Central College Under-15 rugby lock Sohid Pratap who is currently playing in the Northern Zone competition.
16 Aug 2022 13:09
Rising Lock Eyes Fijian 7s Jumper
Sohid Pratap works on his kicking. Photo: Supplied

I want to become the first Indo-Fijian to play for the national sevens side in the HSBC World Sevens Series.

Those were the sentiments of Seaqaqa Central College Under-15 rugby lock Sohid Pratap who is currently playing in the Northern Zone competition.

Pratap plays rugby and football for his school during their Satur­day competitions.

He was one of the many Indo-Fijian students that have broken the barrier in rugby playing in the 2022 Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools Deans rugby competition.

Speaking to SUNsports Pratap said his love for rugby started at an early age.

“I’m a passionate rugby fan and I began playing rugby very early,” he said.

“My dream is to play for the Fiji sevens rugby team because I love the way Jerry Tuwai plays and how sevens rugby is played in the country and around the world.

“Growing up, I watched sevens rugby and we are two times the Olympic Games gold medallists. I know it will be tough but players like Rocky Khan of New Zealand (7s team) has broken that barrier.”

Pratap on a Saturday plays both football and rugby and this he says, was only possible because of his fitness level.

“I basically play the first half of a rugby match and there is always a car on standby to pick and drop me off for the second half of the football match,” he said.

“I will still be wearing my num­ber five rugby jersey and quickly change in the car to wear my foot­ball jersey where I play right wing.

Seaqaqa Central College Under-15 rugby team with Sohid Pratap (circled) at the school ground. Photo: Supplied

Seaqaqa Central College Under-15 rugby team with Sohid Pratap (circled) at the school ground. Photo: Supplied

“Achieving that goal I will in­spire the next generation of Indo-Fijians that their ethnicity is not a barrier when it comes to sports, especially rugby.”

Pratap added that his mission would be tough but he knows how to tackle it.

“Apart from rugby I want to be­come an engineer so I will have to balance my studies and training,” he said.

“The other challenge is trying to get my body conditioned to suit rugby. I watch international rugby and Super Rugby games as well. My favourite lock is Isoa Nasi­lasila.

“The support from teachers, team-mates and parents have been good. I have to be strong physical­ly and mentally if I want to make it to the Fiji 7s team.

“I know NRL (National Rugby League) star Semi Valemei went to my school and I want to follow his footsteps,” Pratap said Valemei now plays for Canberra Raiders in the NRL.snip

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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