‘Beast’ Targets Olympic Games

For me I’m really proud of the boys and their performance. Even though we did not make it to the quarter-finals, I’m happy to represent my country to the World Cup.
16 Oct 2019 14:35
‘Beast’ Targets Olympic Games
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians flanker and Olympian Semi Kunatani with fans at Nadi International Airport on October 15, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

With the Rugby World Cup over, openside flanker Semi Kunatani has set his eyes on representing the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Kunatani who was dubbed the Beast during the 2015/16 HSBC World Sevens Series was a member of the Team Fiji men’s sevens team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Kunatani revealed his intentions to SUNsports after arriving with the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians at Nadi International Airport yesterday.

The Naqalimare, Navosa native said he was happy to make the World Cup in the fifteens code but his love for sevens rugby has not changed a bit.

“Yes sevens cannot evade my mind,” he said,

“If they invite me to be part of the sevens team I will be back.”

Kunatani admitted that he was not at his usual best during the World Cup in Japan due to injury. He missed out on the Australia and Uruguay matches but made his return against Georgia and Wales.

“I gave everything when I played and wanted to be the best. We know that it is really painful to end our campaign this way because expectation was really high for the boys to compete at the World Cup. But we all know that this is rugby and it is anybody’s game.

“For me I’m really proud of the boys and their performance. Even though we did not make it to the quarter-finals, I’m happy to represent my country to the World Cup.”

Looking ahead, Kunatani intends to rest for the next two weeks before joining his club Harlequins in London.

“It’s relaxing for the next two weeks, if they call my name for the Barbarians match it will be a bonus. I thank all my fans for their support.”


Flying Fijians hooker Sam Matavesi who has returned to the United Kingdom after the Rugby World Cup has been left heartbroken.

Matavesi, stationed at RNAS Culdrose and a Cornish Pirates player, has had his kit stolen after his car was broken into in London.

He has posted on his Facebook page: “After arriving from Japan I stayed the night in London.

“We stayed at Shoreditch and parked the car overnight in NCP Finsbury square car park, when we returned the following day our car had been burgled and my World Cup kit bags had been stolen.

“The bags contained three Fiji World Cup jerseys plus other signed Fiji shirts, World Cup cap and presentation medal, rugby kit, boots, trainers, gym shoes and other personal belongings and rugby memorabilia.

“Could you please share this and look out for any shirts/kit/boots that come up online, or you hear or see anything around the area.”

The 27 year-old, who has previously played for former Camborne, Plymouth Albion and Racing Metro, signed for the Cornish Pirates from Redruth early in December 2017.

He played a full part in Fiji’s World Cup campaign, including the big matches against Australia and Wales.

Edited by Grace Narayan


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