SPORTS

Labalaba’s Rugby Journey

It’s all in the Lord’s hands, says Vodafone Fijian 7s winger Nacanieli Labalaba. The 24-year-old Solevu native from Malolo will be making his debut in Wellington this weekend. Speaking to
25 Jan 2017 11:00
Labalaba’s Rugby Journey
Vodafone 7’s rep Nacanieli Labalaba with his family prior to the team departure at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

It’s all in the Lord’s hands, says Vodafone Fijian 7s winger Nacanieli Labalaba. The 24-year-old Solevu native from Malolo will be making his debut in Wellington this weekend.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Labalaba said that it was God’s grace that brought him this far.

“I’m happy to make it into the team but never dreamt to be part of it,” he said.

“I used to watch the Fiji 7s team on TV and silently said that if it is God’s plan for me to wear the jersey then I will play one day.”

He made his debut for the Malolo XVs in the win over Kadavu during the B-Division competition in 2011 at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.

He also played 7s for Solevu during the Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s tournament at Prince Charles Park, Nadi in 2012.

“To be part of the 12-member squad it will be tough as we have the best players on earth on this side but I’m in for the challenge.

“This is my first time as well to be coached by an overseas coach and I do enjoy his company in the team, especially the learning side of things.”

His dad Malakai Vitilau, 68, was delighted when he heard the news of his son’s selection.

“I am happy for what he has achieved so far.

“When he started playing for Malolo I advised him to play hard and don the white jumper as well.

“He played for two years for Malolo in the minor union and saw the team reached the major union in 2015. I thank the Lord for that.”

Labalaba’s uncle is former Flying Fijian centre Sunia Banuve who donned the national jumper from 1990-1991.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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