Farebrother-Sul­livan Trophy: Maroons Time To Rise

 We’ve been a forgotten team for a couple years and it’s time for the Maroons to make a statement and a force to be recognised again-Jona Sawailau
20 Aug 2020 10:02
Farebrother-Sul­livan Trophy: Maroons Time To Rise
Lautoka Maroons utility backline player, Jona Sawailau, at Churchill Park, Lautoka on August 19, 2020. Photo: Nicollette Chambers

Arrow Group-sponsored Lautoka Maroons utility Jona Sawailau is adamant of a good outing against Namosi in round five of the Skipper Cup Premiership and Farebrother-Sul­livan Trophy double-header at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

The Naua, Namuka, Macuata native who has maternal links to Naviyago, Lautoka, has been in­strumental in their 2020 Skipper Cup campaign so far making good breaks in the 22-20 win over Nadi last Friday.

In 2018, the 29-year-old with Tai­levu centre Poasa Waqanibau were the only two players selected from the Vodafone Vanua Championship to be part of the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua side.

“For me personally it is a time for the team to rise, we are not playing for ourselves but for all our fami­lies and fans,” he said.

“We’ve been a forgotten team for a couple years and it’s time for the Maroons to make a statement and a force to be recognised again.”

This will be his second shot at the prestigious Farebrother trophy challenge after the close 13-10 loss to Nadroga last year.

“We will be in full force and will try our best to reclaim lost glory,” he said.

“We will give a good run for our families and fans who always back up the Maroons. We will play our own style set by our coach and we do have the faith to succeed.”

He added the idea to stage the match at the ANZ Stadium, Suva away from Thomson Park was great call.

“Definitely great for fans and players alike. If you want to watch champagne rugby then you must have a venue to match.”

Sawailau was born in Campbell­town, Sydney, Australia before he moved back to Fiji where he attend­ed Drasa Secondary School, Ratu Kadavulevu School and Ba Method­ist High School.

His uncle is Joe Sawailau, a for­mer manager of the Fijian 7s team.

He was not selected in the New Zealand team for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens and it proved to be a blessing for him.

After playing for three years in New Zealand, was drafted by coach Clark Laidlaw in the extended squad.

Lautoka Rugby Union media li­aison officer Sefanaia Scholte said the players will meet their fans to­day from 12pm till 2pm.

“We are calling on fans to come down in numbers and support your local team as we take on one of the giants of rugby this Saturday,” he said.

“We also acknowledged the assis­tance of Arrow Concrete Ltd, Sky­link Ltd, Balawa Kava, Matarisiga Trust, Mix Fm and Comm’s, the Vanua o Vuda, Vanua o Sukanacagi and fans who ontributed in their own special way.”

Edited by Osea Bola



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