SPORTS

I love to play against Fiji and to beat  them – Jona Nareki

New Zealand 7s winger Jona Nareki has set his focus  on the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton on January 26-27 and Sydney 7s on February
28 Dec 2018 11:00
I love to play against Fiji and to beat  them – Jona Nareki
New Zealand 7s reps from left; Vilimoni Koroi and Jona Nareki at Studio 6 in Suva on December 27,2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

New Zealand 7s winger Jona Nareki has set his focus  on the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton on January 26-27 and Sydney 7s on February 1-3.

The Nakoronawa, Nakasaleka, Kadavu native told SUNsports  he is aware the challenges the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team bring being the defending champions.

But he is focussing on winning in Hamilton and making his family proud.

“I want to play in Hamilton, that’s the one I’m looking forward to because it’s at home,”Nareki said.

“My family and friends will be there and I want to win it for them.

“I’ve a feeling we will play Fiji in one of the games and hopefully we beat them,” Nareki said.

RSWC Golden Memory

The 21-year old, who celebrated his 21st birthday at Studio 6 last night, said their gold medal finish at the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup was his highest achievement this year.

And the icing on the cake was when they beat Fiji 22-17 in the Cup semifinal.

“It was great achievement for me and my family being able to play and beat Fiji.

“It was amazing playing my countrymen for the first time.

“They had some big names and to play against them, you couldn’t get any better than that.”

The Otago winger said it was always special playing against Fiji and knows the recipe to beat his countrymen.

“The challenge is always there being able to know that’s it’s your home country and playing against your countrymen.

“I love to play against Fiji and to beat them, we need to keep the pace, stay up with the fitness and keep going.”

Currently there are six Fijians in the New Zealand 7s squad which includes Joe Ravouvou, Vilimoni Koroi, Salesi Rayasi, Akuila Rokolisoa, Luke Masirewa and Nareki.

“We always strengthen our team bonding, push each other to always keep going.

“We sing hymns together and one of the songs we always sing is Eda Sa Qaqa.

“It’s good our coach enjoys singing so it brings in different team culture into the team.”

 2019 Plans

“My plan would be coming over to Fiji and spending time with families and friends

“I love the support here. They hosted me to a reception on Christmas Eve I was able to see my face on my t-shirt, something that we all wanted, they give me something that I fully cherish,” he said.

Nareki’s teammate Vilimoni Koroi joined him on his 21st birthday celebration last night.

-Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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