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Sireli Matavesi: I Am Too Proud Of My Two Sons

I am over the moon, they continue the tradition and they have Fiji at heart. I didn’t force them at all to play for Fiji but it was their decision. -Sireli Matavesi
19 Aug 2019 11:24
Sireli Matavesi: I Am Too Proud Of My Two Sons
From left; Josh Matavesi and younger brother Sam Matavesi at Albert Park on August 17,2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Sireli Matavesi is not surprised his sons Josh and Sam have been included in the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians 32-member squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup team next month.

“I was not surprised at all,” Matavesi told SUNsports from Cornwall, United Kingdom yesterday.

He has been following his sons’ progress since they came over for the Pacific Test Series and Pacific Nations Cup.

“Deep down within me, I am too proud of my two sons.

“I am over the moon, they continue the tradition and they have Fiji at heart.

“I didn’t force them at all to play for Fiji but it was their decision.

“I knew both would make it. Sam was an openside flanker, probably the best in his age then, but he does not have the height.”

Sireli Matavesi.

Sireli Matavesi.

Sireli is trying to convince his young son, Joel to follow into his brothers’ footsteps.

“All three were in the Exeter Rugby Academy and my youngest was the captain of the Truro College, Cornwall County and the Exeter Academy in a year,” he added.

“I am trying to convince, Joel to be a Flying Fijian in future.”

Originally from Mualevu, Vanuabalavu, Lau, Sireli played for the Fiji Barbarian during a tour of British Isle in 1985.

He made such an impression that Camborne Rugby Club paid for him to return to play for them.

As rugby union was an amateur sport in the 1980s, the club had to find him a job.

He worked in a Cornish tin mine. He later went on to become an iconic figure in Cornish rugby, paving the way for other Pacific islanders to play rugby in the UK.

He played for the club for several seasons before making Cornwall his permanent home after meeting Camborne local Karen Lean, with whom he started a family after they married.

Karen died in 2005 but Sireli looked after his three sons who all now playing rugby professionally.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedbackwaisean@fijisun.com.fj


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