Olympics | SPORTS

Kolinisau’s Rugby Journey

Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens captain Osea Kolinisau spoke of his journey in life and how he got hooked to rugby. Q: When you were growing up, did you ever
03 Aug 2016 12:11
Kolinisau’s Rugby Journey
Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens captain Osea Kolinisau (with ball) looks for support while Apisai Domolailai and Semi Kunatani close in during training in Santiago, Chile, yesterday. Photo: Bruce Southwick/Zoom Fiji.

Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens captain Osea Kolinisau spoke of his journey in life and how he got hooked to rugby.

Q: When you were growing up, did you ever think that you will play at the Olympics?

KOLINISAU: It never, never crossed my mind. The Olympics for me was just watching from the telly, watching the likes of Usain Bolt.

Watch them run in the Olympics and after that you meet up with your friends in the afternoon and say okay, let’s race on the road and we chose a name for ourselves, I’m Maurice Greene or I’m Bolt and we just run.

Or watching swimmers like Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps, you jump into the pool and say let’s swim. So we try to replicate those things just for fun but never, never in my wildest dream did I think I will be in the Olympics. Or let alone participate in one or let alone be a gold medal prospect.

It’s a huge one, coming into the Olympics and being at number one and being a prospect to win the gold medal. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this could happen, let alone be a flag bearer in the Olympic Games.


I’m just thankful to God, the Bible verse that comes into my mind is ‘No eyes have seen, no ears have heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.’ I didn’t see this coming but it is here right now and I’m getting excited I’m getting butterflies and nervous as well.

It takes me back home. You know I walked to school when I was in high school because it was just close by about 5 to 8 minutes walk from home.

Every time I finished school I would walk back on my own. So on the road, my mind would just be dreaming of running into the field, somewhere maybe in Hong Kong and just stepping my way around.

When I look back I laugh at those days. I normally have these dreams of playing in a big rugby tournament but never in an Olympic.


Q: When was the first time you felt that you might have a chance of playing for Fiji?

KOLINISAU: It came late because I always go to my brother’s games and watch him play. I watched him try out for the Fiji team and he was still in school.

It was hard to get into the team then, because there were there likes of (Sireli) Naqelevuki and (Simione) Saravanua. I used to go and watch my brother attend the national trials and he was still in Form 7 and that gave me the drive to play and get to the trials as well.


Q: So that is where you started your rugby journey?

KOLINISAU: When I started playing rugby back then, I always wanted to play for Fiji– it was just a dream. But I think it clicked when I was in university.

I found that I did not like going to lectures, it was boring to me. My mum wanted me to go to school. She said I was good in sports but it affected my school work.

When I don’t do sports, my school work goes really well, so my mum was against it. So going to the lectures and going to the tutorials, it clashed with my rugby training. You see the Suva rugby training is at 4pm and it clashes with my lectures. So I decided to go to training instead of attending the lectures.

So I told my dad that I wanted to play rugby and can he allow me a one-year break from my studies. This came about after I got caught when the results came out and they found out that I didn’t sit for three papers.

I knew they were going to send it in the mail and my mum normally opens the mail. She opened the envelope and there were the results.

She asked me, “how come you did not sit for three papers?” I just had to own up– I told my parents that I have not been going to classes and not doing my assignments instead I’ve been out training.

Then I asked my dad if they could give me a one year break to play rugby. And they asked me, “Do you know that you can make it in rugby?” and I told them “Yes, I know I can make it.” So my dad agreed and we went along with it and that’s why I’m here.


Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj


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