Pacific Games | SPORTS

Taniela TamanivaluTo Debut In Samoa

The shy but fast Nairukuruku, Naitasiri native is eager to run onto the Apia Park Stadium next Monday.
04 Jul 2019 16:19
Taniela TamanivaluTo Debut In Samoa
Taniela Tamanivalu after the mangrove planting initiative to celebrate Vodafone’s 25 years in Suva on July 3,2019. Photo: Vodafone Fiji

After four years of playing in local competitions, 24-year-old Taniela Tamanivalu will debut for Fiji in the Rugby League 9s competition at the Pacific Games in Samoa.

The shy but fast Nairukuruku, Naitasiri native is eager to run onto the Apia Park Stadium next Monday.

Fiji Rugby League 9s coach Vula Dakuitoga sees great potential in Tamanivalu.

“He is powerful, a well-behaved player off the field and is committed to training.

On the field, Dakuitoga described Tamanivalu as a strong and able finisher.

With the way the rugby league game has evolved, the stocky winger fits in well like a forward at crucial times.

“When he touches the ball he does not run straight for the opposition but looks out for a gap and then goes for the break.”

How Tamanivalu progress in the code after Samoa is entirely up to him, said Dakuitoga.

“He has the potential, but like any rugby league player, he has to put in the hard yards.”

The former Lelean Memorial School student switched to rugby league and joined the University of the South Pacific Islanders team.

He has no regrets.

“Many Fijian boys are playing rugby union. When I switched to rugby league I learnt a lot of things like the structure and running lines.”

In 2017 Tamanivalu joined the Army Rugby League side. This year, the Nadera Panthers.

While he aspires to complete his social work studies at USP, this will be on hold for a while as rugby league takes centre stage.

Tamanivalu and the National 9s Rugby League side yesterday joined Vodafone Fiji staff in planting 2000 mangroves seedlings at My Suva Park foreshore.

Meanwhile in Samoa, hundreds of students are working hard in preparation for the Opening Ceremony of the XVI Pacific Games this Sunday.

The hosting of the event has been described as the ‘Miracle Games’ due to the short time Samoa had to organise the Games. Samoans have taken the challenge on board and are working hard to ensure the opening ceremony is a success.

‘One in spirit’ is the slogan of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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