SPORTS

Flying Fijians Coach, Vern Cotter, Hopeful Of Luring Sotutu To Play For Fiji

Hoskins, who was born and raised in New Zealand hails from the village of Tavea in Bua. He is also qualified to represent England through his English mother.
04 Jul 2020 16:46
Flying Fijians Coach, Vern Cotter, Hopeful Of Luring Sotutu To Play For Fiji
Blues No. 8, Hoskins Sotutu.

The very reason why Waisake Sotutu gave up his dream to play for the All Blacks and opted for the Flying Fijians jumper, could be an influential factor in his son’s decision.

Waisake’s son and Auckland Blues rookie No.8 Hoskins is tipped to be the next All Blacks No.8 while Fiji and England are desperate to get him.

Hoskins, who was born and raised in New Zealand hails from the village of Tavea in Bua. He is also qualified to represent England through his English mother.

Speaking to SUNsports, Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter said: “I am hoping Hoskins Sotutu’s father (Waisake) will guide his son to play for Fiji.”

Waisake who was a utility back played 92 First Division matches for Auckland from 1987 to 1997.

In 1994, he was named New Zealand’s First Division Player of the Year, after he played 14 National Provincial Championship (NPC) matches where he scored 11 tries.

Waisake made the New Zealand XVs squad in 1995 but was always overlooked for the All Blacks selection.

It was speculated that frustrations of being overlooked for selection prompted Waisake to take up the offer to play for the Flying Fijians under coach and former All Blacks prop Brad Johnstone.

He made his Test debut against Canada on May 15, 1999 and was the Flying Fijians vice-captain to the 1999 Rugby World Cup in France.

In an earlier interview with SUNSports, Waisake said Hoskins still has a long way to go and the decision would depend on him.

“If he was to pick another country then that depends on his Super Rugby contract,” Waisake said.

“Rugby is his job, so there’s a lot to think about, when you make that decision. The other thing is he has lived all his life in New Zealand.

“But making a decision that early could change his rugby career, so it is something he should think about.”

However, Hoskins told reporters in New Zealand that he was not focusing on test rugby at this stage.

“Whatever is next will come,” he said.

“I’ve got my dad’s Fijian heritage and that Kiwi side and my mum is English as well so I can qualify for an English passport.”

In an interview with Newshub last month, Hoskins spoke about the excitement of his family in Fiji as they are always sending him his articles from the local media.

Hoskins also indicated that he always looked up to former Blues winger Joe Rokocoko.

“When I was younger I look at Joe Rocks (Joe Rokocoko), the fast Fijian wing back who scored tries in the big games, it was something I tried to do at school.

“I went to Sacred Heart, and attended there from Year seven to Year 13. Started off on the wing, just like dad.

“As I grew older I sort of appreciated the game even more. That’s when I started to learn from Jerome Kaino, he was a good role model,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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