Top Help For Village Boy

Among Nacanieli Narekuva’s teammates are former All Blacks captain Kieran Read, Springboks 2019 RWC winning fullback Willie le Roux. The Director of Rugby is former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen
17 May 2020 14:22
Top Help For Village Boy
Nacanieli Narekuva at the Toyota Verblitz training centre.

Nacanieli Narekuva is keen to play for Fiji on the big stage and former All Blacks captain Kieran Read is among his teammates helping him to achieve his target.

After a sterling performance during the 2019 Australian National Rugby Championship and Global Rapid Rugby season the Tau, Nadroga, native has set his sights on the Tokyo Olympics and the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The former Nadroga, Fijian Drua/ Fijian Latui wing, who recently signed a three- year contract with Japanese club Toyota Verblitz, confirmed his intentions from his Aichi home in Japan yesterday.

“If given an opportunity I’d love to represent Fiji at the Olympic Games,” he said.

“It will be a dream come true if I play at the biggest stage like the Olympics which no one in my village has achieved.

“I will then try and make the team to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”

And he has been getting top help from high profile players who are among his teammates.

“As a young boy watching rugby on television I’ve always thought about playing with big names and tackling them,” he said.

“The experience here has been so good and amazing and it feels like home with the food and accommodation.

“When I joined Toyota Verblitz I couldn’t believe my luck and I thank God for the opportunity.

“I joined the team before lockdown so I got to meet my teammates and it has been the most exciting and amazing time for me.

“Meeting rugby great Read is unbelievable.

“I watched him on television and now to play alongside him is a blessing.

“Things just got better when I found out that former Springboks speedster Gio Aplon is my wing partner. Also in the mix is 2019RWC winning fullback Willie le Roux and Japanese flanker Kyo Yoshida.”

Furthermore, the club is coached by Simon Cron whose uncle is All Blacks scrum guru Mike Cron and director of rugby is former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

“Imagine a village boy like me to be around and playing with professional players and coaches in a totally new environment.

“These world class players have been so helpful and supportive to me towards my rugby and at the same time I’m learning a lot of new things from them.”


Joining eighth place Toyota Verblitz in the Japanese Top League Narekuva has been busy training at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“It’s been tough for me because I get to wait for a little bit longer to play. But I’m training at home and sometimes with my teammates,” he said.

“We’ve been given training programmes to follow so our trainers keep a tab on us through social media Facebook group chat on our progress.

“Even though the lockdown is being cruel to everyone, it is also a time for me to reflect on the important things that I need to prioritize and getting to know my teammates well.

“The club and my teammates have been very supportive during the lockdown helping me whenever I need something.”

Club Experience

After bursting into the Skipper Cup Premiership competition the 23-year-old was unstoppable in scoring tries for Nadroga.

Narekuva caught the eyes of Fiji Airways Fijian Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula who introduced the robust winger onto the international scene where he played in the NRC and Global Rapid Rugby competition.

Now the village boy is ready to play his trade in Japan and will soon be rubbing shoulders with international players.

Edited by Osea Bola


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