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Rugby Legends Honoured

Three former Flying Fijians leg­ends were honoured at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, yesterday. Prime Minister and Fiji Rugby Union president Voreqe Bainimarama pre­sented Fiji Rugby Test caps as a
10 Jun 2018 11:46
Rugby Legends Honoured
From left: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Ilisoni Taoba, Albert Eastgate and Paula Waisake after receiving their Test Caps at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on June 9,2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua.

Three former Flying Fijians leg­ends were honoured at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, yesterday.

Prime Minister and Fiji Rugby Union president Voreqe Bainimarama pre­sented Fiji Rugby Test caps as a token of appreciation of their contribution during their playing days.

They are former national rugby lock forward Ilisoni Taoba (1974-1982), wing Albert Henry Eastgate (1968) and wily halfback Paula Waisake (1976 -1980).

Taoba made his Test debut against the New Zealand Maori in Wellington on August 31, 1974.

He played a total of 19 games for Fiji and the former lock played his last Test match against the England XVs team at Twickenham on October 16, 1982.

Taoba represented Nadroga and Suva in the provincial competition. His nephew is Akapusi Qera, the current Fiji Airways Flying Fijians captain.

Eastgate made his Test debut against the touring New Zealand XVs in Suva on June 25, 1968. That was the only Test match he played in, but he did it alongside many other Fijian greats. He is also a former FRU board member.

Waisake made his debut for Fiji against Australia in Sydney on June 12, 1976.

He played four Test matches and his final match was against the New Zea­land Maoris in Rotorua on August 30, 1980. He also played for Rewa in the provincial rugby competition.

In a press release, the FRU stated that Taoba, Eastgate and Waisake have con­tributed tremendously towards rugby in Fiji.

“We started the same tradition and culture in the Flying Fijians a few years back and the FRU board has in­structed that we not forget our former Flying Fijians who had shed blood, sweat and tears for the chief and peo­ple of Fiji but had not received their first test caps,” stated the press release.

“It is now time to right our previous wrong and history and we honour our former Flying Fijians from the late 60s and 70s and we also remember those that have donned the white jersey with pride from the same era but are not with us today.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.com.fj

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