Rugby | SPORTS

New Lease On Life

It may be just one match, one schoolboys’ rugby league Test; but for farthest travelling player and prop Jone Ratuiloilo it is a possible new lease on life.
29 Sep 2022 16:40
New Lease On Life
Jone Ratuiloilo

It may be just one match, one schoolboys’ rugby league Test; but for farthest travelling play­er and prop Jone Ratuiloilo it is a possible new lease on life.

Saqani High School vocational student Ratuiloilo returned to the classroom after one year for rea­sons impossible for him to share.

The SHS head boy, dropped out of school after Year 11 at Vaturova Ko­rolau High School in 2019.

After a year at home helping his parents in the village at Yasawa, Saqani, Cakaudrove; the youngest of five siblings enrolled at SHS for his two-year Carpentry and Join­ery course.

Yesterday SHS vice principal Timilai Qaranivalu described Ra­tuiloilo as a well behaved student focused on making rugby league his career in the future.

“He is a role model to the students in Saqani, attentive, disciplined and a gifted young sportsman,” Qaranivalu said from Saqani yes­terday.

“It was no surprise that he has been picked for the Fiji Secondary Schools rugby league national side.

“I have taught many students who have become successful rugby play­ers, I have no doubt Jone will follow suit.

“He has set his goals; he wants to secure a rugby contract. He is a good listener.

“We have set up a gym at school and bought equipment to assist stu­dents like him achieve their dreams and aspirations.

“He intends to enroll at the Fiji National University next year to continue his studies.”

Achiever

Since he returned to school last year Ratuiloilo apart from been an achiever academically has been playing other sports whenever there was an opportunity.

With maternal links to Vagani also in Cakaudrove he captained of the Vanua Levu selection side which won 4-1 against the Viti Levu se­lection in the curtain raiser of the Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools rugby League final on July 2 at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori.

Following that match he was one of the two students selected from Vanua Levu for this assignment. The other player is Matia Makabe of Khalsa College, Labasa.

Early this year he was SHS’s lone athlete at the Cokes finals where he won the silver medal in the senior boys javelin.

Ratuiiloilo said: “I follow NRL players like Viliame Kikau on tel­evision and I know this is the first step, donning the Fiji Schoolboys national jumper.”

“While rugby league is Australia’s national sport, for us we will give it our all and our best.

I’m grateful for the selection as I am on my way to achieving my dream.

“I am grateful to those back at home in the village for fundraising for my trip, my parents, our school principal, staff and the old scholars here in Suva who have bought my boots.”

Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League secretary Taniela Vaka­moce said: “The first thing is his leadership skills. He is someone that is very explosive. He has good leadership qualities.”Capture

Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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