SPORTS

No Retreat

Suva rugby prop Leeroy Atalifo aims to win a spot in the Flying Fijians squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup in England. The Oinafa native from Rotuma missed the
01 Jan 2015 12:39
No Retreat
Leeroy Atalifo at MHCC in Suva yesterday. Photo: Luke Nacei

Suva rugby prop Leeroy Atalifo aims to win a spot in the Flying Fijians squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

The Oinafa native from Rotuma missed the recent Northern tour to Europe, but is determined to better his performance and book a spot in the final squad.

The RWC will be from September 18 to October 31.

“2015 will be a very busy year and there will be a lot of commitment and dedication involved,” he said.

“For me I missed out on the 2014 Europe tour as I was a non-travelling reserve but I will better that in 2015. There is a lot of stuff to learn and rugby is not only about running the ball but there are other technical areas that are associated with it that we need to learn.”

The former Lelean Memorial School student who was born and raised in Rotuma strongly believes that he could have achieved more if he had gone through the right development phase.

“I was raised in the island and I was only introduced to the sport when I joined LMS in 2005 and I joined the Nabua Rugby Club, which got me into the Suva team,

“I feel that if I have done it better from the development stage I would have achieved more than what I have got today.”

Atalifo made his break in 2013 when he was called to be part of the Fiji Warriors team and last year he made it to the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad for the Pacific Nations Cup and later on to the RWC Oceania qualifying match against Cook Islands.

“To make it into the team is different but to make it into the lineup and jump on the field is a different experience altogether,

“When I made it to the lineup against Cook Islands I was happy and I learn a lot from the overseas based- players and the professional overseas coaches who assisted us.”

As for now the sky is the limit for the Suva firefighter and coming from a family of five siblings, Atalifo is also eyeing an overseas contract.

“I’ve been trying hard and I know exposure will be the only way to improve my performance on the field,” he said.

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

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