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RWC 2019: Deuba Cousins, Nayacalevu And Cokanasiga Shine in Japan

Cokanasiga made his World Cup debut in England colours at the Kobe Misaki Stadium where he scored twice in the 45-7 win over USA.
28 Sep 2019 10:17
RWC 2019: Deuba Cousins, Nayacalevu And Cokanasiga Shine in Japan
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians inside centre Waisea Nayacalevu on his way to score a try against the Wallabies during the Pool D Rugby World Cup match on September 21, 2019, at the Sapporo Dome in Japan (left) and Fijian-born Joe Cokanasiga on his way to score a try for England against USA in their Rugby World Cup pool match on September 26, 2019, in Kobe City, Japan.

It has been a proud moment for the people of Deuba in the province of Serua as two of their sons have set the Rugby World Cup alight.
Cousins Waisea Nayacalevu and Joe Cokanasiga have stamped their mark in Japan.

Last Saturday, Fiji Airways Flying Fijians centre Nayacalevu rocked the Sapporo Dome when he scooped up a loose pass against Australia and sprinted 40 metres before executing a glorious dive to score a try under the post.

On Thursday night, Cokanasiga made his World Cup debut in England colours at the Kobe Misaki Stadium where he scored twice in the 45-7 win over USA.
Deuba is also the base camp (Uprising Resort) of the Fijian 7s team under coach, Ben Ryan on their way to win the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

According to Daily Mail, Cokanasiga with maternal links to Tavuki, Kadavu, lived his dream, just four years after being a mascot dressed up as a Fijian warrior.

“I’ve had lots of messages from the village and my parents saying how proud they feel,” Cokanasiga told Daily Mail.

“They are excited to see their little boys representing England and Fiji.

“It’s like a dream come true. My mum is here. My sister will arrive next week with my girlfriend. They are all much more excited than I am!

“I remember going to the final in 2015, All Blacks-Australia, watching that and thinking, ‘This is unbelievable- imagine playing in one of these games’.

“I didn’t think it was possible. It feels weird to be here and playing.”

At 6ft 4in and 118kg, Cokanasiga has been named on the wing for his speed and power.

“If he gets some good ball, he’ll create havoc,” said England coach Eddie Jones.
Cokanasiga will be in familiar company. On the other wing will be his rookie Bath team-mate Ruaridh McConnochie. The chances of McConnochie playing in this World Cup seemed equally slim four years ago.

Having just graduated from the University of Gloucester, and with no professional rugby experience, he took a punt on an England Sevens contract before switching to XVs last year.

“The boys in Bath all send us good luck messages,” said McConnochie.

“I guess you forget you’ve got your clubs to go back to when you’re with England, but it’s quite special.

“It’s been good going through that journey with Joe. He made his debut in the autumn and it’s great to learn off one of the best out there. He’s a beast.

“Four years ago, I was watching the World Cup in the living room of our flat in Kingston— just trying to gain another sevens contract. Playing in the World Cup wasn’t even a thought in my head — that I was either good enough or wanted to be back in 15s professionally. It’s a dream come true, definitely.”
McConnochie also scored a try in the win over USA.

Edited by Naisa Koroi
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