Unknowns Fire Up Ratu Filise

The backbone of this team is teamwork, they are all brought up in one village and share a close bond
10 Feb 2021 13:55
Unknowns Fire Up Ratu Filise
The Ratu Filise sevens rugby team during the Mobil Uprising 7s tournament at Pacific Harbour, Deuba, on February 5, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Ratu Filise continues to do so what it does best, producing top rugby players.

The Mobil Uprising sevens tournament saw the Coral Coast side fielding a team of unknowns that caused ripples during the two day meet.

They survived into the quarterfinals and lost 10-29 to Tabadamu.

Vuate Vasekavu of Namatakula, Nadroga, shares the success of the team since it started.

National reps like, Luke Erenavula, Noa Nadruku and Amenoni Nasilasila are among the many that started their career with Ratu Filise before donning the national jumper.

Nasilasila was the last national rep to have come from Ratu Filise.

Vasekavu is confident that there will be more national reps in future.

“Our village team has existed for more than 20 years,” Vasekavu said.

“It only consists of players from our village of Namatakula.

“Majority of those that  started this team are abroad, continuing their sporting careers.

“Some are playing for Nadroga while many have moved on and are now with Army, Police and Wardens.

“But we did not lose hope, breeding and developing  young boys.

“Players like Sikeli Votonisoga, Jovilisi Natoya, and many others are picked  up from our village.

“Nasilasila was one of them and the last national 7s rep to be from Namatakula so far.”

Vasekavu added that the team trains at the Ratu Filise Memorial School grounds on a daily basis.

The school is located before the village, where most of these players were educated in.

“The backbone of this team is teamwork, they are all brought up in one village and share a close bond,” he said.

“They respect those who have gone before them and know that they need to continue the Ratu Filise legacy.

“I believe this is God’s calling for our young men to be given the talent of rugby players.

“And I’m hopeful that there will be more national reps from Namatakula in the future.”

The team is coached by one of their own, Etika Tovilevu.

Another team executive, Josese Yaya said: “We have a lot of injuries from the Super 7s Series in SIgatoka last month.

“So we brought in our second team, Lokalevu, with a few senior teams.

“Most of these are 18-19 years old.

“Bringing them here gives them a chance to show themselves .”

Namatakula is also the village of Flying Fijians Nemani Nadolo and two brothers, Chris and Tevita Kuridrani.

They grew up in the village and now play in the top leagues in France and Australia.

Another local, retired winger Lote Tuqiri, is a household name in both Australia and Fiji, having represented both nations in international competition and Canberra (Australia) based Nadruku who represented Fiji in both rugby union and rugby league.




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