SPORTS

7s Star On Up

Vodafone Fijian 7s team rep Nacanieli Labalaba has a lot to be proud of after his debut for the country in the Oceania 7s Championship last weekend. Labalaba not only
15 Nov 2016 11:55
7s Star On Up
Kalione Nasoko dives over the tryline.Photo:JONE LUVENITOGA

Vodafone Fijian 7s team rep Nacanieli Labalaba has a lot to be proud of after his debut for the country in the Oceania 7s Championship last weekend.

Labalaba not only represented his country for the first time since he started playing rugby six years but he was also named as the second highest try-scorer in the Oceania 7s with a total of seven tries behind Waisea Nacuqu.

His life has taken a drastic change for the better and it is something he personally did not expect; to be named in the team or score seven tries.

“Being named second highest tryscorer in the tournament is something I definitely did not expect but I am very happy with the way I performed in the past two days,” Labalaba said.

“Everything has changed so fast, from being named into the training squad to actually being named in the team, it has all been a blessing.

“I feel very happy to be playing for Fiji for the first time and in front of my home crowd. I want to thank the Lord for this opportunity he has given me because I would not have been here without Him.

“This is the first time this has happened to me, and I am overwhelmed with emotions.”

Labalaba said senior reps Osea Kolinisau and Samisoni Viriviri helped him adapt quickly to the 7s environment in camp.

“I have learnt a lot from Osea and Sami they have really taught me a lot during training and also about the importance of playing for Fiji,” he said.

“I am grateful to have them as someone I can look up to.

“The tournament has been an eye-opener for me and I still cannot believe I am wearing this white jersey and playing with the Olympic champions.

“I want this dream to continue, I will work hard to make the team to the World Sevens Series next month.”

The 24-year-old started playing for Malolo six years ago when the team was in the B-Division.



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