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Former Fiji 7s Star Makes Comeback After Being Sacked By French Clubs

"He was im­mediately signed up by Na­tional Rugby League (NRL) club Cronulla Sharks soon after the Gold Coast win, where he played in the NRL Under-20 and the NSW Cup."
21 Feb 2019 11:38
Former Fiji 7s Star Makes Comeback After Being Sacked By French Clubs
Alipate Ratini

Former national rugby sevens star winger Ali­pate Ratini is making a comeback.

Ratini hit the limelight by scoring spectacular tries in Fiji’s win of the World Sevens Series’ 2012 Gold Coast 7s in Australia.

He was im­mediately signed up by Na­tional Rugby League (NRL) club Cronulla Sharks soon after the Gold Coast win, where he played in the NRL Under-20 and the NSW Cup.

Ratini’s move to the NRL was to fol­low his cousin Marika Koroibete who at that time was with Wests Tigers.

He switched back to union and Ratini signed up with French club Grenoble in 2013 and played in the Top 14 com­petition. Ratini took the T14 competi­tion by storm where he scored 7 tries from 7 games.

He later played for La Rochelle before moving to Stade Fran­ciase and USA Perpignan where his contracts were later terminated.

Test debut

Ratini also represented Fiji at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Russia.

He made his Test match for the Fly­ing Fi­jians against France in 2014 where he scored a try. Speaking to SUNsports, the Wainimakutu, Namosi native said he was keeping his options open.

“I want to be part of the Fiji 7s team in the future,” he said.

Time to adapt

Last weekend, Ratini played for Po­lice in the Martintar 7s in Nadi and showed moments of brilliance, but still needed time to adapt to the game.

“My contract finished late last year and I returned home. I recently recov­ered from an illness and was slowly making my way back.”

Ratini said a cousin called and invit­ed him to join the Police team.

“I trained for two weeks and hoping to make a big return to the 7s game. My body is taking time to cope to the pace of the game and for me to be able to fulfil my goal.

“If I am given a chance to represent Fiji, I will not stop there.”

Ratini said there are lots of untapped talents in the country and playing against these players has been a big learning curve for him.

He’s now camping with the Police 7s team in Nasova, Suva, prepare for their next tournament.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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