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Former Bati Skipper Is The First Fijian To Be Given Such Recognition

Brisbane Broncos great Petero Civ­oniceva could never have dreamed of being in­cluded in rugby league’s Hall of Fame when he was given a shot at first grade in 1998, he
03 Aug 2018 10:18
Former Bati Skipper Is The First Fijian To Be Given Such Recognition
Petero Civoniceva and wife Bonnie Civoniceva. Photo : Zimbio

Brisbane Broncos great Petero Civ­oniceva could never have dreamed of being in­cluded in rugby league’s Hall of Fame when he was given a shot at first grade in 1998, he writes in this week’s Big League maga­zine.

The former Vodafone Fi­jian Bati captain, was one of six players officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday night along with Mark Graham, Cliff Lyons, Steve Menzies, Ricky Stuart and Gorden Tallis.

Faith

Civoniceva wrote about the faith shown in him by his early coaches

“When I made my first grade debut in 1998, I wouldn’t have ever imag­ined achieving what I have. It was a monumental thing for me to make my first grade debut because I had slugged it out in the lower grades for so many years,” he writes.

“I was probably on the verge of giving up and it was a bit of faith from Cyril Connell at the Broncos, who kept pushing me to Wayne Bennett, and finally the super coach gave me an opportunity. If it wasn’t for certain people who be­lieved in me and my abil­ity, I wouldn’t have got this far. To make my first grade debut was the pinnacle mo­ment and then everything since then has been a bo­nus.”

The legendary prop, who spent four seasons at the Penrith Panthers along with 11 at Brisbane and played 45 Tests for Aus­tralia and six for Fiji, also spoke of his joy of being named alongside former teammate Tallis.

Extra celebration

“There’s also a sense of extra celebration this week because my former skip­per Gorden Tallis has also been inducted in the Hall of Fame.

“I was so lucky to have played alongside him. He was a wonderful leader be­cause of the way he played. He was as tough as they come and will be remem­bered as one of the gutsiest players to have played the game.

“Not only was he a fan­tastic competitor, he was always there to inspire his teammates. When things weren’t going our way, he would always spur us on. So it’s such a special feel­ing being inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside my friend and former captain.”

Edited by Osea Bola

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