SPORTS

Flying Fijians Goneva and Cavubati Join Kunatani At The Harlequins

The duo will join their new club, which finished fifth in the Premiership Rugby standings, after the RWC.
05 Jul 2019 17:16
Flying Fijians Goneva and Cavubati Join Kunatani At The Harlequins
L-R: Tevita Cavubait, Semi Kunatani and Vereniki Goneva

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Vereniki ‘Niki’ Goneva and Tevita ‘Big Tex’ Cavubati join Harlequins in the new Gallagher Premiership Rugby season.

Goneva and Cavubati will team up with fellow Flying Fijian forward at The Stoop from Newcastle Falcons.

The veterans are now camping with the Flying Fijians squad in Coral Coast, Sigatoka preparing for the match against the New Zealand Maori at the ANZ Stadium, Suva next Saturday.

Now in their 30s, they are among Fijians who have secured contracts after the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September.

The duo will join their new club, which finished fifth in the Premiership Rugby standings, after the RWC.

Winger Goneva, 35, is 14th on the list of all-time top league scorers in England with 58 tries, and at international level has 20 in 55 Tests.
Destructive ball carrier

Cavubati, 31, made eight Premiership appearances last season for the Falcons, who are now demoted to play in the GreeneKing IP Championship in the new season.

“Big Tex is an excellent signing for the club and I am delighted he is joining us for the new season,” said head of rugby Paul Gustard told Harlequins Rugby. “I have been looking to add a lock for some time and when Tevita’s name was proposed he was a standout candidate for us.

“He is an impressive and destructive ball carrier with outstanding skills and I am sure his natural game instinct and ability to free his arms through contact will dovetail beautifully with many of our other instinctive players including his fellow countrymen offload master Kunatani.”

Young brother of former national prop, Viliame ‘Big Bill’ Cavubati, Tevita has been capped 23 times for Fiji.

He made his professional rugby breakthrough with Tasman Makos in New Zealand’s ITM Cup, having previously played for Taranaki and Welsh Pro 14 side, Ospreys.

Cavubati moved to England ahead of the 2015/16 season to join Worcester Warriors before he signed for Newcastle Falcons in May, 2017.

Cavubati said: “I am really excited to be joining Harlequins. I grew up in Fiji and I had heard of Harlequins and seen the jersey around the villages, so when I had the opportunity to come here, I was really happy.”

Real Coup For Us

Goneva spent five years at Leicester Tigers before joining Falcons in 2016, and offers a replacement for the retired Tim Visser.

“It’s a real coup for us,” added Gustard. “With Tim’s retirement at the end of last season we have been looking to bring in quality to supplement our very exciting young wingers. “Niki is real quality and has been a success wherever he has been because he is talented, competitive and a good human being.”

Goneva said: “They were the first club that I had a jersey for. My dad bought me one when I was very little because it is his favourite team, and so I have always had an affinity for them.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedbackoseab@fijisun.com.fj

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Rewa Fiji Dairy Ltd
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: