Family Struggles Fire Up Suwawa

"Being an only child, he was de­termined to find a way to help his parents financially since his father, who was a chef at that time was un­employed."
29 Dec 2019 19:07
Family Struggles Fire Up Suwawa
(Left) 2018: Viliame Suwawa with Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho during 2018 Sukuna Bowl. Photo: Viliame Suwawa and (right) NOW: Viliame Suwawa (with ball) representing Takushoku University in Tokyo, Japan.

Viliame Rokobuli Suwawa had a rude awakening at the age 15 after his father suf­fered a mild-stroke at their home in Nasole.

Being an only child, he was de­termined to find a way to help his parents financially since his father, who was a chef at that time was un­employed.

“It was during those struggles that motivated me to work hard and I knew rugby was the only way to support my family and I didn’t want them to go through that rough phase again,” Suwawa said.

“My dad is all better now and has started working but I still promised myself that one day I will make my parents proud.”

Growing up around former Fly­ing Fijian hooker and grand-father Ulaiasi Tukuna, Suwawa was des­tined to follow and carry the legacy of his idol.

The budding young rugger started his rugby career when he attended Suva Grammar School and playing both rugby and rugby league.

The Waivunia, Savusavu, Caka­udrove native represented Fiji in 2018 for the U20, 2020 Junior Rugby World Cup qualification tourna­ment in Australia and helped the team qualify for the Junior Rugby World Cup in Italy.

The 21-year-old’s determination from the beginning opened an em­ployment opportunity upon his return from the tournament as he joined the Republic Fiji Navy as a naval officer and played for a year in the navy rugby team.

Today, he not only plays the sport that he loves growing up but is a student at the Takushoku Univer­sity in Tokyo, Japan pursuing his International Studies and hopes to one day start his own business.

The utility backline player has now shift his focus and aims to play for Japanese Top League teams like Hino and Toyota.


  • Under 9-11: Assembly of God Pri­mary School rugby team
  • Under 12-13: Suva Primary School rugby team
  • U12: Played for the Baby Flying Fijians against Tonga 2 in a test match, which they won.
  • U14-18: Played for Suva Gram­mar rugby and U16 rugby league team that won during that year
  • U18: Part of the Fiji U18 team tour to New Zealand where they faced the host country, Australia and the Barbarians.
  • At 17, Suwawa played in with the Covenant Brothers Rugby Club.
  • After 3 years playing for Cov­enant before Suwawa joined the Republic of Fiji Military Forces at 2018.
  • U20-from 2017 to 2018 he repre­sented Fiji in the Under 20.
  • He played for the Fiji Navy for 1 year before heading to Japan to pursue my rugby career and stud­ies.

Edited by Osea Bola


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