SPORTS

From Malaysia To Roosters

Sabeto villager tells of the sporting journey  from the union to league
04 Oct 2019 14:48
From Malaysia To Roosters
Waisea Nasekai

As the days go by this rugby league player puts on the hard work coupled with sacrifices as he lived a disciplined lifestyle in his mission to make the Fijian Prime Minister’s XIII side.

For 30-year-old, Sabeto villager, Waisea Nasekai his dedication has been paid off after he was called up to prepare for the biggest game of his career.

They face a star-studded Australian Prime Minister’s XIII coached by the legendary Mal Meninga at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on October 11.

Growing up on the Western side, Waisea attended Sabeto Primary School and had to choose between rugby union and rugby league at a very early age. Like many young boys in the country, he chose to play rugby with the dream to represent Fiji in both 7s and fifteens.

“My dream was always one and that is to represent Fiji in the union but the thought of playing rugby league was not there,” Waisea said.

“Union was always the main thing for me so I never dreamt that I will become a Bati. In my secondary school days at Sabeto College, I played soccer.

“I reached form 6 before I joined the Vuda Catering School for six months.”

Waisea said he started playing rugby for the village team under the Nadi Rugby Union club competition.

His performance caught the scouts of a Malaysian club and got a two-year contract.”

“While I was away in Malaysia in 2010, rugby league started in the village and saw the birth of the Sabeto Roosters.

“That year Roosters won the Vodafone Cup for the first time but I was still in Malaysia though. That win struck me and it kept me thinking that I should play league when I returned. After my contract expired I returned and started playing rugby league for the Sabeto Roosters.”

Married with a son, Waisea believes that rugby league brings a lot of physicalities.

“Rugby league is tougher than union, now that I’m playing the game I’m so used to its physicality,” he said.

The long ride to Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour, Deuba, last Saturday was full of excitement and for one to look back at all efforts that were put in during training.

“On my way to the trials, I believed that I was going to be chosen to represent Fiji. I trusted myself so I made sure to do the small things right during the trials,” he said.

Waisea said when they announced his name in the afternoon at the hotel he was emotional and thanked God for his guidance.

“There were lots of players that were at the trials and to be part of the final 18 is a blessing. Even when we started the trials I always leave everything to the Lord, telling him that everything is in his hands. I was confident of getting selected because I played well during the trials.

“My aim now is to get an NRL (National Rugby League) so I’m going to play well during this game.”

Waisea need not to be discouraged as a former Fijian Bati winger Orisi Cavuilati made his NRL debut at the age of 40 while playing for Canterbury Bulldogs.  Sabeto Rabbitohs coach Sitiveni Vuniyayawa said Waisea is a humble player that has set examples for young children in the village.

“He came over from Sabeto Roosters and is a prominent member.

“We the coaching staff and the people of Sabeto always have confidence in Waisea. Waisea is one player that we the management look to. He is disciplined. The connections he has with the boys is something special.

“I believe that this is his moment to shine after proving himself after the Fiji Residents matches against Tonga.”

Waisea understands the job ahead of them and areas they need to work hard on to match the Australians.

“I will work on my defence and attack and I will rely on the good Lord to guide me because this is not an easy game for us. I’m going to play against some of the best rugby players in the world.

“My advice to young players out there is to believe in themselves and work hard because anything is possible when you put your mind and heart towards it”

Vuniyayawa has called on fans to come out in numbers and support them next week.

Edited by  Leone  Cabenatabua

Feedbacksimione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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