SPORTS

Big Moment For Kuinikoro, Malele

It was day to remember for for­mer national rugby winger Joape Kuinikoro and loose forward Enele Malele after they were honoured for their contribu­tion to rugby in the country. Kuinikoro
17 Jun 2018 12:42
Big Moment For Kuinikoro, Malele
From left; FRU chairman Francis Kean, Joape Kuinikoro, Enele Malele, Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou and FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor at the ANZ Satdium, Suva on June 16, 2018

It was day to remember for for­mer national rugby winger Joape Kuinikoro and loose forward Enele Malele after they were honoured for their contribu­tion to rugby in the country.

Kuinikoro and Malele received their Test caps from the Minister of Youth and Sports Laisenia Tu­itubou at the ANZ Stadium, Suva yesterday.

Kuinikoro made his Test debut for Fiji against Tonga on July 1977 in Lautoka. The Kadavu na­tive played a total of 11 matches with his last Test match against the New Zealand XVs in Suva on July 23 1980.

The former winger shares one of the best memories was during the match against the famed British Lions in 1977 where they won 25-21 at Buckhurst Park, Suva.

“My best memory was just be­fore running into the British Li­ons game and seeing all this huge names in rugby, back then I was just a student,” Kuinikoro said.

“The game now has really evolved; it is more difficult sci­entific wise. Before it was just an amateur sport and we shared brawn and speed, but for now we go to the gym and study for it.

“In those days they were no tour­nament and we had test games so it was different.”

Kuinikoro played alongside Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese, Pio Bosco Tikoisu­va, Ilisoni Taoba and the late prop turned hooker Josefa Rauto.

Malele made his Test debut in 1968 against the All Blacks. In 1973, the former national No.8 captained the side that won beat Tonga 24-12 at the National Sta­dium in Suva. His namesake and grandson currently plays for the Swire Shipping Fijian Warriors side.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj



Laybuy it 5squares


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Covid 19 - SPC
Total
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper