SPORTS

Injured Meli Naholo In For Village Massage

Fijian Taranaki development utility Meli  Nakubu  Naholo returned home on Sunday for rehabilitation following his injury four months ago. Naholo, 21, is one of the two younger brothers of Fijian
26 Sep 2018 10:32
Injured Meli Naholo In For Village Massage
Meli Naholo with uncle Isei Naiova at Nadroumai village

Fijian Taranaki development utility Meli  Nakubu  Naholo returned home on Sunday for rehabilitation following his injury four months ago.

Naholo, 21, is one of the two younger brothers of Fijian 22-capped All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo.

The youngest of the three Naholo brothers Kiniviliame, 19, plays alongside Meli in the Clifton Rugby Club with four other Fijians.

The other Fijians are Patrick Stark, Jonetani Dobui, Api Dawai, Ben Nakauvadra.

Taranaki Rugby Football Union academy manager David Ormrod said the Naholo brothers have been the in-form wingers at club level this year.

“They are both training with our Mitre 10 Cup wider group which is really awesome and they deserve to be. They have been the two form wingers in club rugby,” Ormrod said.

Meanwhile, soon after arriving home from New Zealand Meli joined his uncles and traditional masseurs Josateki Vakalagi and Isei Naiova at the family bure (Fiji thatched house) for an evening family discussion at Nadroumai Village.

“I will be here for the rest of the year for rehab, no games for me as instructed by my doctors,” Meli said.

“This is what I am here for, a good Nadroumai massage,” he said while he stretches his right foot next to Vakalagi for a massage.

Meli is special to Vakalagi and Naiova because he is named after their late father.

Meli is doing exactly the same thing his older brother Waisake did three years ago when he fractured his fibula against Argentina on his impressive New Zealand debut in July 2015.

Medics ruled him out of Rugby World Cup 2015, predicting that the break would take at least three months to heal.

He was persuaded by his uncle to return to the Fijian village where he grew up and undergo six days of traditional healing – involving the application of plant leaves and massaging the area around the injury – his recovery was so swift that coach Steve Hansen surprised many by selecting him in the All Blacks’ 31 for RWC 2015.

“I was last here during the 2016 Christmas holidays, it is so good to be home with my tou (dad), lewa (mum) and only sister,” Meli said.

He has a reason to be excited as this would be the longest time he would be with his family after leaving for New Zealand five years ago to join his Waisake.

“I left Fiji when I was only 16, went over and did Form Five, Six and Seven. I am a sponsored student at the Taranaki Sports Academy and doing my mechanical engineering studies,” he said.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper